trompe I’oeil

deception of the eye

The Romans would paint villas, pillars, archways and gardens onto walls in their homes as a form of entertainment, delighting in the confusion of the senses that results. During the Rennaissance, perspective drawing as we know it came into being, and ‘true’ receding scale was available for the very first time. This made the illusion of architecural details and vast spaces much more realistic and added to the giddying effects such work produces. It was now possible to recreate in two dimensions exactly what the eye sees in three dimensions.

Today, many people are seeking out tranquility and calm in their living and work spaces, and trompe l’oeil is an ideal way to do so. The ability to open up one of four walls in a room and throw it to the horizon is more visually stunning then the view into a conservatory – but is a fraction of the price! On the right are just some of the trompe l’oeil artworks Nick Hallard of eyebright has been asked to create.

The oldest trompe l’oeil work found in Britain is in a ruined church in Norfolk, recently discovered behind a mass of ivy and several layers of mortar. It dates back to 1200AD.

trompe l’oeil