We all know that our eyes can be deceptive. Most of the time, we see what we want to see … until someone points us toward the truth.
“No, that’s not possible,” I told my friend on our visit to Florence, Italy.
“Oh, my dear, but it is. They mastered it well during the Renaissance.”
“But it’s a sculpture.”
“Nope. It’s flush with the wall. It’s all paint.”
That’s when I realized I was a neophyte to the art of Trompe l’oeil.
Wikipedia: Trompe-l’œil (French for “deceive the eye”, pronounced [tʁɔ̃p lœj]) is an art technique that uses realistic imagery to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects exist in three dimensions. Forced perspective is a comparable illusion in architecture.
I decided to give it a go, at least in small measures.
Thinking of Leonardo Da Vinci, I painted the image below (not the center man- he was truly glued on). The image is flat but I wanted to make the papers appear taped to a brick wall. The shadows around the papers add to the 3-D appearance.
Note: the words are written in Italian, backwards, like Da Vinci wrote. The envelope (from the man himself) says, “Dear Carolina, Maybe this helps!”
This one, The Helper, is one dimensional and has no real frame.
While I continue to be a neophyte in this department, today there are many great artists who can master this technique.
And, I still can’t decide which is better — a deceptive eye or the truth behind it. What I do know is this —