Cornelis Gijsbrecht – Trompe – l’œil

Cornelis Gijsbrechts  Trompe L'oeil

Just like the real thing: that is the essence of what Cornelis Gijsbrechts has attempted to achieve with these two canvases, which were most likely conceived as a pair: the illusion that these are two real, tangible, three-dimensional 'letter racks' half-concealed by curtains. It could easily be seen as an example of art for art's sake and as a demonstration of technical workmanship, were it not for the fact that many of the depicted objects also refer to the vanity of various pleasures and the brittleness of human existence. On the left, for instance, these themes are evoked by the trumpet, the empty frame and the pistol; on the right, the scissors, the clasp knife and the hourglass. These two trompe-l'oeils are therefore also still lifes and vanitas paintings.


H: 101,9 cm
W: 83,4 cm


Oil on canvas


c. 1664