The history of optical illusions in art blends intent and expression, sometimes with a healthy dose of trickery and fun. Works of art throughout history reflect the circumstances, perspectives, and outlooks of the individuals who created them. This can be done consciously or unconsciously, incorporating new styles, techniques, and ideas. During the Middle Ages, Romanesque and Gothic art and architecture emphasized spirituality and symbolism, leading to a return to classical styles during the Renaissance.
Optical illusions in Renaissance art emphasize a fascination with physical perspective and individualism, while later 17th and 18th century artistic genres demonstrate experimentation with light, color, realism, and the abstract world. Artists in the 19th and 20th centuries continued to explore conceptual art techniques and mind-bending media.
Optical illusions in art - whether they be macabre, playful, or even mathematical - have a unique way of manipulating the human eye.
- 11,248 VOTES
'All Is Vanity,' 1892
- 2992 VOTES
'Landscape Shaped Like a Face,' 1600s
- 3909 VOTES
'Escaping Criticism,' 1874
Painter Pere Borrell del Caso's work Escaping Criticism gives the impression that a young boy is jumping through a frame, running away from whatever trouble follows him.
- 4755 VOTES
At first glance, Italian painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo's The Vegetable Gardener looks like a bowl of vegetables. If you turn it upside down, the work of art morphs into the head of a man - presumably the gardener who grew and picked the vegetables.
Some observers, however, find decidedly sexual references in the nose, lips, and cheeks of the upside-down image.