from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Philosophy The doctrine that the material world is an immaterial product of the senses.
  • n. The use of illusionary techniques and devices in art or decoration.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The performance of magical tricks.
  • n. The theory of dealing with illusions.
  • n. The doctrine that the material world is an illusion.
  • n. The use of illusionary effects in sculpture and art.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From illusion +‎ -ism


  • The question of illusionism is explored, largely through an examination of the periodical reviews, such as Lady Morgan's, with their subtle emphasis on questions of memory, personal history and place — in short, on private subjectivity — in the face of fragmentation, dislocation, and distraction which were obvious features of the popular, mass viewing experience.

    Article Abstracts

  • I would add the term 'illusionism' to this list to specifically refer to the simulation of visual experience light, color, and linear perspective.

    Realism and its Synonyms

  • The various offshoots of Kantian philosophy are incorrectly regarded as developments of idealism; it is more accurate to describe them as "illusionism" or

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 7: Gregory XII-Infallability

  • To enhance the illusionism of his work, Barker devised clever feats of stagecraft and optical tricks that would be widely imitated in later panoramas, including the Panorama Mesdag.

    A Physical Place of Enchanting Illusion

  • The flat, featureless and suitably inhuman vacuum for their electronic sounds is classically postmodern and a creepy precursor of cinema's depthless green screen illusionism.

    Skye Sherwin: A Good Look

  • For decades "Les Demoiselles" had been referred to as the "first Cubist picture" because of the way its fragmented forms and crystalline spaces broke with 500 years of eye-fooling illusionism that began with the Renaissance.

    The Man Who Taught Us to See

  • The materials might be minimal but the effects are a sublime bit of illusionism, elegantly conjuring alternative worlds one minute, and turning back to bits of string the next.

    This week's new exhibitions

  • In keeping with this gender illusionism, Candy was both a work of art and the artist who created it.

    Caroline Hagood: New Documentary Tries to Solve the Riddle of Andy Warhol's Candy Darling

  • Caravaggio's potent illusionism is challenged by the astonishing construction of the painting, a slow swirl of forms that press outward from the composition's depths, a loop of light against bottomless darkness described by Saul's open arms and the horse's curved back, blocked by the "fence" of legs across the center of the picture, where human and equine limbs interlace with thundering intensity.

    A Transfiguring Moment

  • Knight, who discounts the illusionism and technical virtuosity that made Gerome famous in his own time goes on to remind his readers that "From Manet to Cezanne, every artist we revere today was on the other side of Gerome's fight."

    John Seed: Jon Swihart: Jean-Leon Gerome Is His Master


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