‘deceive the eye’ – the artistic ability to depict an object so exactly as to make it appear real.
A heightened form of illusionism, the art of trompe l’oeil flourished from the Renaissance onward. The discovery of perspective in fifteenth-century Italy and advancements in the science of optics in the seventeenth-century Netherlands enabled artists to render objects and spaces with eye-fooling exactitude.
Both witty and serious, trompe l’oeil is a game artists play with spectators to raise
questions about the nature of art and perception.