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By on May 28, 2012, with 21 Comments

Why is it that romance and death go so well together in art? Perhaps it’s the idea that true love is eternal, which means that even in death the lovers will stay together. Or, maybe it’s because death will eventually conquer any romance, no matter how powerful. Maybe it’s that true love will lead us to do anything for our partner – even dying for them, just like Romeo and Juliet did. Or, perhaps it’s the simple contrast of something so dark with something so beautiful.

Whatever the reason, artist Tom French is a master of mixing the macabre with the saccharine, depicting romance after romance all blended in seamlessly with skull illusions.

While not all of his illusions focus on romance and a few aren’t even skulls, but are, instead, faces, they all manage to stir up emotions from the viewer. Also, they are all wonderful works of art. For proof, just check out this gallery featuring some of his most impressive works of illusion and don’t miss this  earlier post featuring his work as well.

Tom French: Skull Gallery

  • z2d4th

    Till death do us part

  • eee efff geee

    Oooh, Creepy :D

  • steve furlan

    These are great but I am looking for one that I saw while in the army in 1968. Had the skull, but if you looked real hard it was a picture of a very old woman. Or it was vice-a-versa and you could easily see the old woman but had a tougher time seeing the skull. Anybody out there ever seen it of maybe heard about it?

    • No, but I’ve been looking for one that I saw in Spain featuring two women drinking tea in a parlor that turns into a skull. While we’re asking around, if anyone’s seen that one, let me know.

    • Isa40

      Jill, I think my Dad has that one on an old postcard but I’m not sure. I’ll have to ask!

    • Tammi

      Steve, I think this is probably the one you’re talking about… http://coachburke.homestead.com/art_illusions.html

      The only old woman one I can think of is this:

    • errietta

      steve, if I’m thinking of the same one, i used to have it as a screensaver…now i cannot even find it..it’s a good one! :S

    • Digital Diva

      I believe you are referring to a Spanish artist by name of Octavio Ocampo. He created a number of illusions with people that looked liked old weathered people.Google it and see if that is who you are talking about. illusions-of-octavio-ocampo

  • gab

    wow those are amazing and kinda creepy..

  • Jain Householder

    I have a really old one of a woman sitting at a dressing table looking in the mirror. I got it at a garage sale at least 30 years ago (and it was old then). It’s packed away with my Halloween stuff, but if anyone is interested in it, I can dig it out and email you a scan of it.

  • Sumer

    very cool

  • Jake

    ‘Til death us do party

  • errietta

    looooved them…

  • RN

    Clever, but the skulls almost seem to have the appearance of being wrapped in cellophane…

  • Care Bear

    I love the skull illusion. I got hooked on Vanity and save every one I find. Not sure if I have the one Steve and Jill are looking for but I’ll check–as soon as I save these.

  • birttany

    so cool

  • BRob

    Steve & Jill:
    I think you’re referring to a painting by Salvadore Dali.
    He has all sorts of weird paintings – all very cool.

  • iris


  • April


  • tan

    is ther anywer i can buy these prints on billboards?

  • hhh