I came to appreciate better the second great problem with murals when I saw Diego Rivera's mural depicting the history of México in the stairwell of the National Palace in México City. There is no way to photograph murals in order to give someone else even an approximation of what they are like in the flesh. I have looked at a lot of professional photographers' attempts at this on the internet. They all fail miserably. And so knowing in advance that I am going to fail, too, I am going to show you some photos anyway.
There are many Rivera murals in the National Palace that he painted between 1929 and 1945. I am only going to address that mural in the main stairwell. Diega Rivera was not an admirable man. We need not go into details here. However, this mural depicting the history of México is incredible. It includes depictions of over 1,100 figures from Mexican history. It was painted with paint that Rivera formulated himself using natural dyes and other natural pigments from Mexico.
The main stairwell consists of three walls, the two smaller side walls and the large central wall capped by five arches. The mural covers these three walls. In photos one can usually only see three of the arches of the central wall because columns on the second floor make it difficult to get a wide angle picture of the entire central wall. One climbs the stairs, goes around to the railing on the second floor, and gapes a this thing. The right wall depicts the ancient, mythical world of México, and the left wall depicts two alternate visions of the future of México. The big central mural sets out the meat of modern Mexican history under the five big arches.
When one sees photos like this, it simply appears a mishmash. So I tried to take just a few detail photos to give you a better idea of thing.