How you can use this image
This image is available to be shared and re-used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (CC BY-NC-ND).
You can reproduce this image for non-commercial purposes and you are not able to change or modify it in any way.
Wherever you reproduce the image you must attribute the original creators (acknowledge the original artist(s) and the person/organisation that took the photograph of the work) and any other rights holders.
Review our guidance pages which explain how you can reuse images, how to credit an image and how to find more images in the public domain or with a Creative Commons licence available.Download
Add or edit a note on this artwork that only you can see. You can find notes again by going to the ‘Notes’ section of your account.
Trompe l'oeil pieces (or 'deceptions' as they were commonly called) were among the most popular paintings to be found in the collections of well-to-do English households of the seventeenth century. Their practitioners were chiefly painters from the Low Countries, of which Collier was one. Although often contemplative in nature, their main objective was to startle the eye with a virtuoso ability to create the illusion of graspable objects in paint. The trompe l'oeil letter rack with notes, newspapers, writing implements, seals and combs was one of Collier's favourite, and most commercially popular, subjects. Many variations of it are known, with similar objects slightly differently arranged but always with different dates and printed texts.
Further reading: 'The Tate Gallery Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions 1984–1986', London 1988, pp.11–12, reproduced Harry H. Hilberry, 'Painting Illusions by Edwaert Colyer', Indianapolis Art Association Bulletin, vol.49, no.5, February 1963, pp.12–17 G. Saunders, 'Trompe l'Oeil: Visual Deception in European Art', The V. & A. Album 5, 1986, pp.59–67 Terry Riggs January 1998
Oil on canvas
H 58.8 x W 46.2 cm