Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Trompe L'oeil

Trompe L'oeil is something you're probably familiar with. It literally means "trick of the eye" as in a faux treatment which replicates real life texture and dimension.

In Italy there were many trompe l'oeil paintings that I paid particular attention to since oftentimes one couldn't tell if it was 2-3 dimensional or flat, the art was so masterfully painted.  Here are some examples of Italian trompe l'oeil (pronouced 'tromp loy') I photographed on our trip.  There is alot of it in the Vatican and in museums.

All of these examples are flat painted surfaces, but the look of architectural detail and sculptural qualities was amazing.  
Ceiling art abounds in churches and museums.  Italian ceiling illusionism is called "di sotto in sù" and you really can get a stiff neck looking up for hours!  (Quite worth it, 
I say!) 

These feed my love of ceiling treatments! Enjoy.


  1. i love taking pictures o ceilings too Nancy and your pictures are just a joy to see for me! love learning about new tems too, thanks for the info and the beautiful photos! I'm sharing some art too on my blog about our last visit to the Art Institiute of Chicago! have a great day!

  2. My neck hurts just thinking about it but I agree, quite worth it.

  3. Beautiful. That egg and dart is amazing. Makes me want to try it.

  4. I'm always in awe of those paintings on ceilings and the time it took to create them!

  5. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. Paint treatments like these got a bad name in the 90's (I'm looking at you, Olive Garden) but when done well, they are spectacular!

  6. until I began the reno ove 822...this was my "job" and I loved it! but it takes some real mojo which I have lost since I've been holding a wall brush vs. an art brush the last 3 years

  7. Huge Fan, of this technique especially when done in the right setting in pale gray tones.. its gorgeous!!
    Great post, Karolyn

  8. Ah Italy, they really do it better there! Just lovely!

    xo Mary Jo

  9. So amazing, Nancy. I can appreciate all of the skill that goes into this. I would love to watch a true artist do this.


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