Trompe-l'œil

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"Painting is an illusion, a piece of magic, so what you see is not what you see."

(Philip Guston)

Trompe-l'œil (French for "deceives the eye", pronounced [tʁɔ̃p lœj]; in English, often spelled without the hyphen as 'trompe l'oeil'; first known use 1889) is a style of painting in which objects are depicted with photographically realistic detail, providing an optical illusion that reflect their three-dimensional nature, comparable to forced perspective method comonly used in interior architecture.

It is as much of a privilege to have seen frescoes adorning interiors of grand buildings in real life - with images that come alive deceiving perspectives - as much as it is to view paintings with objects looking real enough for viewers to want to lay hands on.

Text by Keisha KR