trompe l’oeil

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Goats Living the High Life
I came across an image of this print room paper and became fascinated as I took a closer look at each of the framed landscape views. Each view contains a figure and a structure. And half the figures happen to be goats, living in these beautifully styled shelters. Just to confirm these were actually houses...
Paper Dolls
In Paper Dolls, one of many trompe-l’oeil designs by William Ward Beecher, blue paper cut-outs join at the hands and feet in the form of a child’s paper chain. The figures cast shadows on the beige ground behind them, so that they appear to hover above the surface. The February 17, 1953 issue of Women’s...
Exploring a Decorative Bandbox
Bandboxes, a decorative yet practical item of an earlier time, were originally used as receptacles for holding men’s neckbands in the early 17th century. Although they continued to hold that purpose heading into the 19th century, women would soon adapt them to carry their personal items and accessories. Between the years 1820 and 1845, the...
A Hundred Windows on Your Wall
This beautiful monochromatic wallpaper is an excellent example of mid-nineteenth century stylistic eclecticism. The window, surrounded by fan vaults and Gothic tracery, is a typical Gothic Revival image. However, the bunches of flowers and swirling acanthus leaves that frame the Gothic interior are Rococo Revival motifs, pointing to the enormous  influence of French culture on...
Books and Biscuits
This trompe-l’oeil biscuit tin takes the form of a stack of books with handsome marbled pages and tooled leather bindings. The titles include some of the most ubiquitous texts in British history, from the moralistic Pilgrim’s Progress to the adventure stories of Daniel Defoe and Jonathan Swift. The books are a play on the name...
Decorative Deception
Traditionally, wallpapers have imitated more expensive materials, such as architectural details, painted wall decorations, wood grains, marble, and, most often, textiles. In the mid-18th century when wallpapered rooms became a prevailing fashion in England and France, wallpaper borders were as important a decorative element as the coverings themselves. A brilliant swag of printed paper flowers,...
For the Love of Books
Today, let’s talk books. Or rather, a trompe l’oeil wallpaper printed to appear like a well-stocked bookcase in someone’s library. This is one of the livelier, not to mention convincing, bookcase wallpapers I have seen. And it’s no wonder, it was created by the brilliant decorator, muralist and trompe l’oeil painter Richard Lowell Neas. Many...
Taking a Fresh Look at Drywall
This is the first panel from the set of ten wallpapers showing a realistic rendering of a 4×8 foot sheet of drywall, all prepped and awaiting its final surface coating. To achieve this high degree of realism, Fischer entered an actual construction site and painstakingly photographed ten different drywall panels. The exacting photography and follow-up...
Weaving Illusions
Junichi Arai was born in Kiryu, the center of traditional Japanese silk weaving, and was trained in his family’s mill. He went on to become one of the most innovative textile artists of our time. Over the past fifty years he has won dozens of patents for his work in fiber chemistry, metallic fibers and...