Trompe l’ oeil in Person

Have you noticed the wonder of seeing something in person that has only been seen in books? How magnificent it is in person?

Trompe l’oeil. It is an art form. Ever heard of it? A French word which means trick of the eye. Perhaps you have seen it before?

Until this year, I have seen it only in art books. This past June, I saw it in all its glory in person. The bus tour guide told our group of two special places we would enjoy with our free time while visiting Provincetown, MA.

One place was the Universalist Meeting House of Provincetown, MA. Said to be one of only five entirely trompe l’oeil interiors in the country. Painted by Carl Wendte, a young artist from Hannover, Germany, around 1850. It is a fine exhibit of this interesting art form.

All the columns, the curved alcove, ceiling, side and back walls are actually flat walls! Hence the name, trick of the eye. They surely do not look flat.

So convincing was the art, I touched the back wall to be sure it was flat and not the panel my eyes told me it was. Amazing!

“Don’t be like one visitor,” our tour guide said with a grin. “He came back to me and said, ‘I didn’t see anything in that church but a bunch of columns!’ “That sir,” she said laughing, “Was it!”

See for yourself in my photos below. Better yet, go see this art form in person. You won’t believe your eyes!

Remember it is the walls to look at. The chandelier, pews, flowers, chairs and alter are real. It is the walls and ceilings to look at.
See? It’s flat.

P.S. The second place was the Provincetown Public Library where a scale model of schooner Rosa Dorothea is on display. That is for another time.

8 thoughts on “Trompe l’ oeil in Person

    • It is amazing, isn’t it? One really has to get close to ‘see’ that it isn’t real! 🙂 Thank you for stopping by, Michelle.

      Blue Rock Horses Frederick County, Virginia

    • Is surely is something, I agree, Judy. Gives all the more meaning to old saying ‘Not everything is as it appears’, right? 🙂 Thank you for stopping by.

      Blue Rock Horses Frederick County, Virginia

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