Illusions: 13 Art Illusions Children Should Knowby Silke Vry (Author, Illustrator)
Art and Illusion for children
We stumbled across this book at our library and were delighted to learn about some very interesting tricks. In “13 Art Illusions Children should know”, art historian and archaeologist, Silke Vry has collected art work that cheats the eye and bewilders the mind!
“Artists are magicians and tricksters!” begins the book. Inside you will find 13 Illusions or “optical tricks” ranging from photo-realism and Surrealism to clever use of paints, perspectives and light.
Each illusion is spread out over a few pages. Inside, lively text explains in simple terms the “What”, “When”, “Who”, “Where” and “Why” of the illusion.
For example: In the section “Deceive the Eye” the author describes Tromp l’oeil (art that deceives the eye). The deception here was to startle the viewer into believing that the boy is actually trying to climb out of the picture! But how could that be? Since this is after all a flat painting!
In the section “Pictures of Depth”, we encounter the famous “Relativity”. The painter M. C. Escher painted and drew this never-ending staircase as an optical illusion. This impossibly clever construction was made to confuse and amuse you at the same time. It made us scratch our heads as we tried to figure out where the scene begins and ends!
Although this book is chock FULL of such clever art work, our favorite was the section on “Concealed Messages” or anamorphosis.
The painting below “The Ambassadors” (National Gallery, London) is around six feet high and wide. It is almost life like with the 2 serious people standing alongside objects that feel strangely real. The two also look at you as if you are in the same room with them!
But wait! Look at this picture closely — can you spot the optical Illusion in the scene?
(Answer below the picture — highlight the words with your cursor to reveal)
(Answer: View the picture from a particular vantage point- in our case, tilt the book and look at it from just below the elbow of the man in the black robe – look at the bottom of the page and see the strange figure in the center bottom is a SKULL!)
This book was so much fun! We waited to show the illusion to all our friends and explain to them what was coming up. One can’t help but fall for the trickery in the book. We loved holding the book upside down, sideways and even right up to our noses!
Don’t miss this one!