Masters of Deception

Masters of Deception

Escher, Dali & the Artists of Optical Illusion

Book - 2004
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Astonishing creations by masters of the art, such as Escher, Dali, and Archimbolo; amazing visual trickery; and an illuminating foreword by the Pulitzer Prize--winning author Douglas R. Hofstadter make this 320-page, breathtaking collection the definitive book of optical illusions.

Rings of seahorses that seem to rotate on the page. Butterflies that transform right before your eyes into two warriors with their horses. A mosaic portrait of oceanographer Jacques Cousteau made from seashells. These dazzling and often playful artistic creations manipulate perspective so cleverly that they simply outwit our brains: we can’t just take a quick glance and turn away. They compel us to look once, twice, and over and over again, as we try to figure out exactly how the delightful trickery manages to fool our perceptions so completely. Of course, first and foremost, every piece is beautiful on the surface, but each one offers us so much more. Some, including Sandro del Prete’s charming “Window Gazing,” construct illusionary worlds where normal conceptions of up, down, forward, and back simply have no meaning anymore. Others, such as Jos De Mey’s sly “Ceci n’est pas un Magritte,” create visual puns on earlier work. From Escher’s famous and elaborate “Waterfall” to Shigeo Fukuda’s “Mary Poppins,” where a heap of bottles, glasses, shakers, and openers somehow turn into the image of a Belle Epoque woman when the spotlight hits them, these works of genius will provide endless enjoyment and food for thought.

Baker & Taylor
Celebrates the use of optical illusion in art, presenting the importance and uniqueness of such work, discussing such artists as Salvador Dalâi, M.C. Sesher, and Istvâan Orosz.

Book News
While aficionados of optical illusion art may be familiar with the work of Dali & Escher, fewer are familiar with the work of 16th-century artist Archimbolo, or with over a dozen contemporary artists who work in this genre. This oversize volume (9.25x11.25") displays the work of both famous and lesser known optical illusion & magic realism artists. Seckel (California Institute of Technology) presents a brief overview of the history of illusionary art, also called trompe l'oeil, and provides biographical information on each artist, as well as useful commentary on particular images. The book includes numerous color plates, a list of recommended readings, and contact information for many of the artists. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: New York : Sterling Pub. Co., 2004
ISBN: 9781402705779
Characteristics: 320 p. : ill. (chiefly col.) ; 29 cm


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Aug 23, 2018

When it comes to art and the optical illusion - You're really gonna love what this book has to offer.

Mar 07, 2018

If you enjoy looking at artwork whose imagery actually plays tricks on the brain, then "Masters of Deception" is sure to keep you (and your brain) pleasantly entertained for hours.

This glossy volume of optical illusions showcases some of the "best of the best" illusionary art from 20 of the most impressive artists of the past century.

I really like the artwork of both M. C. Escher and Salvador Dali - But these two masters of deception are not the only ones whose masterpieces impressed me in this excellent book.

Feb 28, 2018

"Seeing is believing(?)"

Aptly titled "Masters of Deception" - This excellent book covers the fantastic, illusionary artwork of 20 notable artists (including one sculptor) who are exclusively of the 20th century (with one exception of 16th century painter, Guiseppe Arcimboldo).

Through numerous images of their work - Each artist is individually showcased in this superb volume (for your viewing pleasure). As you will soon see with these images - All of these individuals have found, through the gift of their craft, some unique manner of causing your brain to play tricks with you (whether you will it, or not).

Impressively compiled (with biographical text) by Al Seckel - "Masters of Deception" will truly amaze you. This first-rate, full-colour edition presents one dazzling optical illusion after another.

Four of my favourite artists in this book are - M. C. Escher, Guiseppe Arcimboldo, Rob Gonsalves, and Akiyoshi Kitaoka.

Jan 21, 2013

Stunning works in high-quality book material. Ingeniously organized by type of illusion art, so you can get immersed in the flavor of each style over several artists. Between my family & friends, this beautiful oversize book entertained probably at least 15 hours altogether. And I didn't even study all the educational text about the illusion techniques.


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