The term trompe l’oeil is loosely translated from the French language meaning an illusion of the eye. This architectural style was primarily used in French landscape architecture in the 1800’s as a diminishing perspective. It is a form of trelliswork but worthy of its own identity. The trompe l’oeil is a beautiful garden element in its simplicity of structure. An understanding of the details in the design and construction that make this structure look as it does adds greater value in its appreciation. The trompe l’oeil is a structure that when gazed upon allows you to participate in its illusion and mystery.
The trompe l’oeil has been used as both a vista on a grand scale or as a means to simply add depth to a small garden. In the large garden the diminishing perspective allows the illusion of a passageway to somewhere else and creates mystery. In a small space garden or balcony this structure gives the sense of a larger space with the illusion of depth.
The techniques used to create a trompe l’oeil can be used to produce any shape or illusion imagined. These can range from simple wall ornaments to individually unique large scale projects. From a design standpoint, the vanishing point changes in elevation depending on the perspective desired from the eye of the viewer.