Dominique Houard & the magic of trompe l’oeil

Trompe l’oeil is an art technique born in ancient times and that uses a realistic impact to create a three-dimensional optical illusion. Its aim is to deceive the viewer eye with a mix of mastery perspective and chiaroscuro, disposing objects with a profondity effect or creating a totally new dimension. Every art’s passionate will remember the oculus on the ceiling of the Spouses Chamber in Mantua (Italy) by Andrea Mantegna: he was one of the first experimenter of the perspective and this fresco in particular was one of the most exceptional illusionary effect of all times. Mantegna was able to make us believe that there’s a hole just in the middle of the room, with some cherubs who look down an intricate balustrade. After him, a lot of amazing painters followed his steps creating ever more incredible works. One of them was, by all odds, Jacques Poirier, who was part of a group of realist painters created by Henri Cadiou called “Trompe l’Oeil and Reality“.

Dominique Houard was one of the lucky pupils of Jacques Poirier, from whom she learned how to perfect her technique and pursue his method of hidding meanings behind an elaborate rebus. So, Dominique paints the magic of the Trompe l’oeil, mastering one of the most astonishing pictorial techniques, both with oils and pastels, where her compositions immediately attract the eye, but she’s also able to lead you to reflect on what could be the stories behind her little worlds so well-thought-out.
Her works are definitely complex, starting by the perfect balance that you instantly feel by gazing at them, for the harmony given by the thorough choice of any single object and the exact position of the elements.

“The trompe-l’oeil technique allows me to play with objects, organizing them like a rebus or illustrating some of my concepts, I can define myself as a painter who tell stories! Indeed, every object is chosen with an extreme cure because it needs to answer to many of my criteria: it must be an integral part of my rebus or my told story, it must have a harmony of colours, in this thing I’m very exigent, and, above all, it must be small enough to be put inside of some little spaces if it needs.”

– Dominique Houard



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