Who Is Deceived by Trompe L'Oeil?

Ruth Ronen, Efrat Biberman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The mendacious nature of 'trompe-l'oeil' artworks has drawn philosophers and art theoreticians along history to analyze these paintings in terms of deception, of conveying a false image. This Platonic approach can be countered with the psychoanalytic notion of truth. Jacques Lacan has repeatedly claimed and showed that deception is a condition for knowledge and that truth is not compromised by false imaging. Our paper investigates this mode of superseding the true-false opposition and examines its implications for the relations between truth and knowledge. We claim that the truth of 'trompe-l'oeil' is not a transcendent truth but a truth about the split nature of the image itself, about the split between the lies it actually tells, and the truth that comes back to the subject from the deceptive image.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-265
Number of pages9
JournalAnalecta Husserliana: The Yearbook of Phenomenological Research, Volume LXXXVII: Human Creation between Reality and Illusion
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2005


  • ART


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