Illusionism

DEFINITION

A pictorial technique to convey through unreality a sense of reality, the method often employs light and shadow and perspective to manipulate the visual response. Illusionism dates back to Roman wall painting and relief sculpture, and in American art is related to Trompe l'Oeil (fool-the-eye) painting as well as Magic Realism and Photo Realism. American painters who used illusionism include James Carter, Anna Eliza Hardy, William Harnett, Aaron Bohrod, John Singleton Copley, and Charles Rain. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; AskART biographies.

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