Lines and Colors art blog

April Fool-the-eye Day: trompe l’oeil by Andrea Pozzo

April Fool-the-eye day, trompe l'oeil by Andrea Pozzo
Instead of a fake post, or some similar nonsense, let’s celebrate April Fool’s Day with a nice bit of “fool the eye” (trompe l’oeil) by Andrea Pozzo.

This is his false dome for the Jseuit Church in Vienna, a fresco painted on a gently curved surface on the ceiling. This is essentially a anamorphic projection, painted to look like the interior of a dome in deep, three-dimensional space when seen from a certain vantage point, in this case when standing in the entrance of the church.

You can see the image of the fresco viewed from the other direction (image above, bottom – from, where its painted distortions are obvious.


2 responses to “April Fool-the-eye Day: trompe l’oeil by Andrea Pozzo”

  1. I’m very familiar with Pozzo’s similar work at Sant’Ignazio in Rome, but this one is new to me, and it’s apparently far more complex. Fascinating!

  2. Hmm, an impressive trick, masterfully done, and a fitting post for April fools day, but in my view, the trompe l’oeil ruins what is already an impressive barrel vaulted ceiling, similar to the Sistine Chapel, as the vaults do change from the opposite view. What inspiration it gains from the entrance view is more than lost by the weird effect from everywhere else in the space.