Arts Everyday Living: The Art of Optical Illusion-Take Your Pick of Books, Letters, & Newspapers

John Frederick Peto, Take Your Choice, 1888, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.


American artist John Frederick Peto (1854-1907) was a specialist in trompe-l’oeil  (“deceived eye”), basically causing the viewer to mistake painted objects for reality.  He often focused on books, letters, and newspapers recreating them with a variety of colors and textures arranged in creative, at times, unpredictable designs.


John Frederick Peto, Self-Portrait with Rack Picture, 1904, oil on canvas, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas


John Frederick Peto, Old Time Letter Rack, 1894, oil on canvas, Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago, Illinois

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