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Trompe l’oeil literally translates from French to mean “fools the eye.” Hard to paint, the trompe l’oeil piece requires meticulous attention to detail on the part of the artist. Proper sizing and every detail, nuance of light and gradation of color must be skilfully incorporated in order to make the two-dimensional work appear to be three-dimensional.
Trompe l’oeil is decorative painting that creates the illusion of reality.
Trompe l’oeil paintings may also include clouds, trees, angels, or scenes from nature.
The skilful use of perspective adds to the realistic appearance of trompe l’oeil paintings.
Trompe l’oeil is a form of Faux (or, False) Finish, and the terms are often used interchangeably.
When used in architecture, trompe l’oeil becomes an important part of the building design. Wall surfaces, ceilings, domes, and other parts of the building are decorated with murals or designs that create the effect of architectural features such as windows, columns, stonework, and ornaments.
Paintings of this genre have been around since Antiquity, though they fell into disuse during the “Dark Ages” It wasn’t until the Italians (re)discovered linear perspective during the Renaissance that trompe l’oeil became popular for keeps. In the 21st-century, the term “Photo-Realism” would be equally applicable to this type of painting.Trompe l’oeil paintings may also include clouds, trees, angels, or scenes from nature. The skillful use of perspective adds to the realistic appearance of trompe l’oeil paintings.
We have our own Trompe l’oeil in Roanne, in the Roannais (top, lead-in picture), and there are many more in Lyon like the ones featured above.