Architectural Trompe l'oeil

What's the plural of Trompe l'oeil?

I was asked the other day about architecural Trompe l'oeil and it got me thinking back to when I used to holiday in Antibes.

I would often borrow a pushbike from my host and go for a spin round the Cap D'Antibes. Sometimes I'd go round twice. I would pause for a cigarette and I'd often find myself inadvertently standing in front of a Trompe l'oeil of a newsstand.

One day I had the feeling of being observed, which was ridiculous, blank walls do not observe.

Actually, I was being observed, by a little girl on a balcony. I had not realised how far the trompe l'oeil extended.

Cannes, once a small fishing village, is now an exuberant temple to the seventh art. Once dull walls have been enlivened by such murals.

If you can't get to Cannes, then Lou Messugo does a wonderful walk through for you of some great examples in the region.

Cannes being Cannes, the walls are bursting with murals and Trompe l'oeil.

A more staid but equally delightful base for Trompe l'oeil is garage doors, particularly in the USA. Nobody walks in the USA but if you did stroll past these doors you might well do a double take. 

(Source: Daily mail - 'My other car's a jet... Or how to turn a garage door into a work of art')

(Source: Daily mail - 'My other car's a jet... Or how to turn a garage door into a work of art')

An astonishing possibility raises its head: the overnight Trompe l'oeil. Jon Fingas' article in Engadget describes how SmartPaint can be used to rapidly cover a dull wall with a fetching image.

Trompe l'oeil lives on and offers ways to use paint to enliven the built environment and delight the eye.

Posted on April 15, 2016 .