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Tromp L'oeil - Arcy Art Original Oil Paintings Art Dictionary

Tromp L'oeil refers to a painting in which every device is used to create the illusion of total reality. The phrase is well translated as "deception of the eye".

Tromp L'oeil is a painting that is intended to deceive the spectator into thinking that it is a real object rather than a two-dimensional representation of it. Such virtuoso displays of skill often have a humorous intent, and anecdotes of almost miraculous feats of trompe-l'œil are typical of periods in which naturalism has been cultivated, such as the classical age in Greece and the Italian Renaissance. Vasari, for example, records that the young Giotto tricked his master Cimabue by painting on the nose of a figure on which he was engaged ‘a fly so lifelike that when Cimabue returned to carry on with his work he tried several times to brush it off with his hand, under the impression that it was real, before he realized his mistake’.

Sometimes the term Tromp L'oeil is used loosely to refer to any type of pictorial illusionism.


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