Painting images that are indistinguishable from reality has been a challenge for artists throughout the ages. The ability to deceive the viewer by making the painted image appear real by means of the laws of optics and perspective is a game whose first examples were discovered in Greek literary texts. Since then, trompe l’oeil has had a long presence in the arts, with periods of notable flourishing, such as the Renaissance and the Baroque, only to decline after Romanticism, but without ever disappearing from the artistic agenda. The exposition Hyperreal. The Art of the trompe l’oeil, organised in collaboration with the Madrid Regional Government, offers an overview of the genre through more than a hundred high-quality works from museums and private collections from all over the world.
The Thyssen Museum Madrid is hosting this exposition which aims to make the spectator doubt through the incredible laws of optics. In fact, “deceiving” the public is one of the objectives that many artists have set themselves over the centuries. The curious thing about this temporary exhibition is that the works are presented by subject and setting, not by date of execution. Thus, visitors will be able to contemplate two paintings that deal with the same theme, but which may be separated by 500 years of history.
It covers works from the 15th to the 21st century, creating a collage of overlapping styles, mixing disparate names such as Dalí, Antonio López and Van Eyck, which makes the exposition more surprising and fluid. Thus we can find sections devoted to the still life, to painters who used frames as an artifice to create an optical effect or to the American renovators, as this genre, once reviled in Europe, leapt with vigour to the USA.
This curious exposition will be in Madrid from 16 March to 22 May, opening hours are Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. The price is 13 euros per person.
Daniel Rodriguez Merino