"Trompe l'oeil" is a technique used to create an optical illusion which causes a two dimensional painting to appear to exist as a three dimensional object. Light, shadow and textures are used in the artwork to fool the brain - or "deceive the eye" to translate from the French literally with similar principles applied in theatrical set design and scenic painting. We are currently selling two properties in the North of Scotland where such artworks add an unusual extra feature.
The spacious and beautifully proportioned Leanach House is to be found to the east of Inverness. With rooms intimate enough for family living but also allowing for entertaining on a large scale, this recently renovated former farmhouse lies within the bounds of Culloden Battlefield - the last pitched battle to be fought on British soil.
Of particular artistic note though is its garden room, the walls and ceiling of which are appear to be enclosed within a circus tent or big top.
Upstairs in one of the bedrooms another trompe l'oeil effect can be found with an "arched doorway" appearing to lead to an adjoining room.
Both pieces are the work of artist Jonathan Humphrey. Sadly no longer with us, he was based in Orton, Fochabers and another of his works can be found at the Green Hotel & Resort in Perthshire.
A rural retreat but within easy reach of the city centre, the airport and the A9, Leanach House is for sale with CKD Galbraith Inverness at offers over 950,000.
Staying in the Highlands, we don't have to travel far too find our second property. Dunchattan is a handsome traditional house found within a peaceful residential area of Nairn.
It also contains a trompe l'oeil mural in its sitting room in which is depicted a further seating area complete with a conservatory with a view over a garden and out to the sea and cliffs beyond.
Dunchattan is also for sale with CKD Galbraith Inverness with a guide price of 385,000.
These trompe l'oeil features can't help but remind one of the old Looney Tunes cartoons where Wile E. Coyote would paint a convincing looking tunnel onto a solid cliff face in the hope of catching the Road Runner. The fast-moving bird of course would defy logic and speed down the painted road leaving the coyote attempting to pursue but instead would crash into the solid rock (before occasionally meeting a train inexplicably coming the other way with the inevitable consequence!) Adding life and interest to what might otherwise be simply a bare wall or unloved alcove, these works of art create a talking point and add a huge amount of character and fun to these homes.