trompe l’oeil
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(pronounced tromp-LU-ih)

A French term literally translated as “deceive the eye,” it tricks the viewer into thinking he is looking at a 3-dimensional setting when what he is really seeing is a 2-dimensional surface. This type of technique is sometimes referred to as illusionism, and it started amongst the Renaissance painters. Now it is used often in interior applications. Artisans paint directly on walls, ceilings, columns, floors, millwork and furniture. Some wallcovering and textile manufacturers use the technique in the design of their mass produced goods as well.