Monday, February 27, 2006

Not What it Seems

Mr. Hulings' Picture Rack, 1888 by William Harnett, Private Collection.

Harnett was a master of the Trompe L'Oeil (trick the eye) painting. The Greeks and Romans painted in this style but the term was coined in the Baroque period.


magicwritinggal said...

I don't understand what the trick of this one is supposed to be. I'm not getting the painting at all.


Martha said...

The trick is that it is not really a wall with letters on it, but a painting of a wall with letters on it.

It helps to remember that it was painted in the infancy of photography and something this realistic would not be as fmiliar to viewers then as it is now.


Anonymous said...

Thank you, Martha. I wasn't thinking of it so simply. I understand it now.

And I love your blog. It's so nice to have one link on my favorites page that isn't topical, late-breaking, or something I need to do anything about--it's just a random bit of beauty and a glimpse of some artist's story from somewhere in this big old history of humanity. I love that.

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