Trompe l'oeil fly  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The addition of trompe l'oeil flies to works of art is believed to have begun in the 15th century, right as Christus became active. Art historians are generally split between two different interpretations of their use. Many art historians believe the fly to hold religious symbolism, functions as connotations of sin, corruption, mortality, etc. Art historian believes that a fly was used to evoke such images in connection with Satan’s moniker Beezelbub - The Lord of the Flies.

More recently, art historians are beginning to view the inclusion of trompe l’oeil flies as a professional calling card, with art historian Felix Thürlemann describing it as “a selfconscious representation of superior painterly prowess (the fly’s position right next to ‘Petrus Xdi Me Fecit’ hinting that the fly might be the referent of ‘me’ and therefore the creator of the work.)

The painting Portrait of a Carthusian sports a trompe l'oeil fly[1] on its lower right-hand corner.

The painting Self Portrait of the Artist with His Wife by Master of Frankfurt includes life-sized trompe l'oeil flies—seemingly on the painting's surface—an allusion to the classical artistic deceptions of Zeuxis and Parrhasius.

The fly is these paintings is an intrusion on the realism of a painting. Alternative 'realism-intrusions' are nails or curtains.

See also

  • Flies in art[2]





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Trompe l'oeil fly" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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