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Trompe-l’œil. Imitations, Pastiches Et Autres Illusions (Optical Illusion. Imitations, Pastiches And Other Illusions)

Start Date 02 February 2012 
End Date 05 January 2014
Venue Musée des Arts Décoratifs
Location Paris, France
Curator Véronique Belloir, Hélène Renaudin, Maximilien Durnad and Dominique Forest

The trompe-l’oeil is, as its name suggests, intended to deceive the eye and has its origin in ancient frescoes and mosaics. The oldest story that marks the beginning of the trompe-l’oeil is that of Pliny the Elder. He reports in his Natural History how the painter Zeuxis (464-398 BC. JC ), in a competition which opposed him to the painter Parrhasius, had represented grapes so perfect that birds came to flutter around. If Antiquity is the starting point for this perfect illusion, the Renaissance and Mannerism will amplify this phenomenon before the Baroque period makes it a genre in its own right. Virtuosity then reaches its peak and this illusion owes much to the techniques of perspective and chiaroscuro. All the periods will be interested in it, even if the supports and the stakes are no longer the same.