Optical Illusions “Background”

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Toine Heuvelmans submitted this original art: “Hi, I noticed on your great mighty optical illusions blog a number of trompe l’oeil, and remembered an exposition in Holland of the work of Cornelius Gijsbrechts. This Dutch painter was specialized in painting very realistic. He used this to paint for example “the back of a painting”. If you see the painting yourself (not too close, you need a little distance not to see the paint), you really want to turn it around to see if there’s a real painting on the other side. The exposition was called “ogen bedrogen”, that’s dutch for “eyes deceived“. I added two screenshots for you, but do google around on his name. Enjoy, and keep up the good work!”


  • Emily

    yay first haha. well. i am utterly confused… i don’t get it at all. hm. is it just me?

  • bean

    wowww thats pretty good!! i didnt understand it when i saw it but then i read the article. very smart i must say :D

  • Anonymous

    It’s not really an optical illusion in the strictest sense. It’s a painting trying to make you think you’re looking at the back of a painting, it’s supposed to be easy to think it’s actually a painting that’s been turned around. I think it works better in person.

  • Anonymous

    hmmm, confused….

  • Anonymous

    Emily with paintings this clever there is no need for the illusion to be all singing all dancing .

  • Anonymous

    nah, it’s cool emily, i don’t get it either.

  • Anonymous

    that stuff is painted. he was a really good painter.

  • Anonymous

    i dont get it either…………………………

  • loser

    i dont get it ether
    =^.^=

  • Anonymous

    I don’t get it either..

  • Anonymous

    The pictures are painted, that’s the illusion. What great skill.

  • Anonymous

    wooooooow ….dont get it

  • Mike

    Yes Emily I sorry to say it is you. You see the painting is a painting of the back of a painting and that’s the illusion. You know, the painting back is really the painting front. No wait, the painting front is really the …………… nevermind. Now I’m confused Emily!!!

  • a stump

    wierd, in the seond one i think i see a sad face looking to the left, made by the curtain. but in the first one, there doesnt seem to be anything, although i did tilt my screen sideways and i though i say a childrens drawing of a girl in a dress… i think i’m crazy, can anybody second that?

  • Anonymous

    Yes you are crazy ” a stump. I second that.Yes i see the face in the curtain. i think you made me crazy too

  • Mike Jones

    For all of you who don’t get it, it’s really not that hard. All you have to do is read the little blurb above the two paintings. If you still don’t get it: Imagine going into an art gallery and turning a painting around so you see the back of the painting. It would just be a wood frame and a black palate. The pretty frame would only be on the front side, and the picture would only be on the front side. So what this painter did, was paint what the back of a real painting would look like. So when you see the painting in a gallery, it looks like the pretty side is facing the wall. When in fact it’s meant to look like it’s backwards. That’s the trick. That you think you’re looking at the back of a framed painting, but the painter really just painted what the back would look like on the front.

  • Megan

    o man, thats gangsta. but not as gangsta as yogurt… mmm yogurt.

  • Anonymous

    Hey mike, or confused #2 how can i say this simple for u simple ppl? oh i got it… ITS A PAINTING clear enough for ya?

  • Anonymous

    These are very good. I don’t know if they’re by the same artist, but I’ve seen different ones like this: a violin on the back of a door, a door opening onto an entire other room, stuff like that.

    The detail on the pages in the second one! Makes me feel inadequete. He must have spent ages on these.

  • Anonymous

    AHH I GET IT NOW! i didnt understand like alot of you just 5 minutes ago, but ive got the answer! the clue was in the word “divided eyes” put ONE hand over on of your eyes and look at the first picture, it will start to come out. then switch eyes and it might be more clearer.
    HOPING THIS ANSWER HELPED!
    me! x

  • cutie pie

    I DO NOT GIVE UP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    B
    BL
    BLE
    BL
    B

  • denham

    we were studying these in my art elective class, i think that they are really cool, and i would like to see one in real life.

  • qwertyuiop

    its just a painting of the back of a painting

  • eee efff geee

    Is the first on the Mona Lisa?

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