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Nadine Le Prince TROMPE L’OEIL

What is "Trompe l’oeil" ?

Heights and depths
"Trompe l’oeil" is based upon the illusion of depth and relief.

It so conditions the spectators that they eventually mistake the represented items with genuine ones,which accounts for the fact that they must be painted live-size. The painter may emphazise the contrast of the shadows which bring out the relief and thus enhance the illusion of depth.

It is important to distinguish the two types of " Trompe l’oeil" paintings: the " trompe l’oeil" which is meant to be seen from a distance, the ornamental trompe l’oeil, and the one which needs to be seen at close range, the easel trompe l’oeil. What they bear in common is the way they render relief and the fact they are both artistically realistic. is a fine artistic work. Whether it be monumental of easel painting, it cannot allow poor quality as creating the illusion of reality implies expertis.

-h:t,Au musée Grévin, At the Grévin museum, ( tripyque) 54 x 100 cm x 2 , (o:c) copie peinture murale, rue Castagnary à Paris 15e copie

The theme dealt with may be imaginary or it may represent the item as it is, which requires a great sense of observation. In the past, what was valued in painters was their ability to capture the subject and to paint true to life portrait.In those days, the critics could not imagine other criteria whose result might also be pleasant to look at. It was only when photography was invented that the principles of art were re-examinaded. The artistic skill must prevail upon illusion. There was a time when some painters practised trompe l’oeil as a stylistic composition. Painters do feel the urging impulse to surpass themself in order to improve their technique,which accounts for the comeback of trompe l’oeil. and it does not necessary rely upon realistic themes as depth may be rendered from geometric or shapeless abstract items.

Trompe l’oeil requires an energetic way of painting. It is similar to sculpture sinceit sets a new order of reality from a subjective point of view. the illusion of reality and the realization that it is only painted image of it are the two contradictory impressions that simultancously come to mind and short-circuit each other, arousing laughter. As the spectators perceive a scene they believe to be real, they realize it is a virtual painted picture and thus shifts from reality into illusion.

Magic is an appropriate word when referring to Trompe l’oeil since it make the spectators aware of reality. When looking at a painting from a short distance, the lens in their eyes gets thicker in order to focus so that they perceive depth. All is but illusion in art as well as in love, but reality is in the feelings they arouse in us. For a painter to render a three-dimensions appearance of reality in the ambience that is his own is a kind of artiscic challenge leading to finding and transcending reality.

Lettres after contemporary "trompel’oeil"exhibitions in museums:

Trompe l’oeil is a fine artisc work. Wheather it be monumental or easel painting, it cannot allow poor quality as craeting the illusion of realityimplies expertise. This technique has attracted many painters from Europe as well as the United States, and great French artists have been practising it since the seventeenth century with such a talent that " trompe l’oeil" works are referred to with the same French word in English. I am very glad to see that the Delagation from the promotion of art has welcomed the request made by the Mayors from the tenth and sixteenth districts to organize an exhibition that will enable everybody to marvel at paintings, not only from the past, but also from every talented contemporary artists who have taken over from their fore goers. I wish to thanks the museums, municipalities and art collectors who have been to help organize the exhibition.

Jacques CHIRAC, Mayor of Paris

I wish to thank you for your very kind letter dated november 8th, and I am very glad to hear that the exhibition of " Trompe l’oei" taking place in Luneville’s Museum was such a success. Actually it is extremly rare that an exhibition should receive a number of visitors equal to the number of people inhabiting the town wher it takes place. You certainly know how concerned I am fostering the development of museums in the provinces, and i believe the experience you mentioned in your letter proves that the efforts makes towards your town and region have been worthwhile. Therefore I am pleased to congratulate you,as well as your curator for the outstanding event and I wish you all the best for the future cultural events that you will wish to organize. Yours sincerely

Jack LANG Minister of Culture

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