Trompe l'oeil

French for "deceives the eye." Trompe l'oeil is an approach to painting in which the artist uses shadow, perspective, and meticulous detail to create a three-dimensional illusion on a flat surface, testing the viewer's ability to judge what is real and what is merely a representation. Cole used this technique in The Architect's Dream (1841) by painting curtains on the edges of the canvas in an attempt to trick the viewer into believing he is looking through a window onto a real scene.