trompe l'oeil

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English[edit]

Trompe l'oeil of a portrait subject escaping his frame.

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From the French trompe-l’œil (trompe l’oeil, literally deceives the eye), from trompe (“deceives”, the third-person singular indicative simple present form of tromper, “to deceive”) + l’ (“t’”, the prevocalic form of le, “the”) + œil (eye).

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Noun[edit]

trompe l'oeil (usually uncountable, plural trompe l'oeil or trompe l'oeils) (see usage notes)

  1. (uncountable) A genre of still life painting that exploits human vision to create the illusion that the subject of the painting is real.
  2. (countable) A painting of this kind.

Usage notes[edit]

  • This phrase is sometimes misconstructed as trompe d’œil and trompe-d’œil, which, literally interpreted in French, means “deceives of eye”.
  • In French, trompe-l’œil is an invariant noun; the same usage is reflected in the plural use of the English trompe l’oeil. Alternatively, trompe l’oeil is treated as a headless noun phrase, to which is suffixed -s to form a regular plural form. Still otherwise, some authors form novel plurals on modified etymological bases, such as the technically correct trompent-l’œil ([they] deceive the eye) and the ultimately mistaken trompe les yeux (deceives the eyes); however, such neologistic constructions are vanishingly rare.

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Italian[edit]

Italian Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia it

Etymology[edit]

French

Noun[edit]

trompe l'oeil m (invariable)

  1. trompe l'oeil