Art that plays tricks – TROMPE L’OEIL

I love paintings and structures that trick the eye. The very difficult technique has its roots way back in ancient history.

Pliny the Elder (who died trying to get a better look at Pompeii the day the volcano erupted)  wrote about two rival painters. Zeuxis was praised for his still life painting because the grapes were so realistic hungry birds tried to peck them. Fellow artist and rival Parrhasius invited Zeuxis to his studio to view his work. Zeuxis agreed and went to pull back the curtain half covering a painting, only to find that the curtain had been painted…

Here is a collection of trompe l ’Oeil websites that include paintings you can put on your own wall and ones you can visit while you’re travelling and even some you can sit on….

A Contemporary Artist, Cornwall

Mural artist Janet Shearer is based in Cornwall.

“Trompe l’oeil distinguishes itself from ordinary decorative painting by its intent to deceive, and it is this which sets it apart from ordinary still-life painting. The artists technical ability is meant to go undetected and, with use of perfect perspective, cleverly observed light and realistic colours, the ‘trick’ is to make the onlooker believe that a flat surface is not flat, or that a space exists where there is no space.”


The picture above is called A Cornish Window and is available as a self-adhesvie vinyl print for £250.

She says that her clients include the very wealthy, famous and chic, councils, hotel chains, religious people, creative people and all kinds of modest people in between who want something different

You can find a gallery of her work HERE

The Wall Art of Lyon, France

Lyon has more than 60 wall murals. This one is large, nearly 13,000 square feet, and is in the Croix-Rousse neighbourhood, once the home of silk weavers. It depicts the local area and is updated every decade to reflect the changes in the physical environment. Find out more in this 2011 article in France Today. Click HERE

Wall art in Lyon

Comprehensive Database is the  largest database of wall murals around the world, although the focus is on Europe. It has 6700+ images and more are added every day.It is available in French, German, Spanish and Italian but only the introduction is in English.
It covers:trompe-l’oeil, graffiti, wall murals, children’s murals, work that has disappeared and work designed to be removable.

Brighton Street Art

I live in Brighton, a city on England’s south coast of constantly changing street art. Here are a few examples from the travel blog Spaghetti Traveller:

Brighton street art 1

Brighton street art 2

Modern Trompe L’Oeil to sit on

Need a new sofa? This one is more comfortable than it looks. It’s padded and covered in material.

See 13 more examples in The Architectural Digest click  HEREMarble trompe-l-oeil sofa



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