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Masters of Deception: Escher, Dali and the Artists of Optical Illusion [Paperback]

Douglas R. Hofstadter , Al Seckel
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 9.09 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 Oct 2007
Rings of seahorses that seem to rotate on the page. Butterflies that transform right before your eyes into two warriors with their horses. A mosaic portrait of oceanographer Jacques Cousteau made from seashells. These dazzling and often playful artistic creations manipulate perspective so cleverly that they simply outwit our brains: we cant just take a quick glance and turn away. They compel us to look once, twice, and over and over again, as we try to figure out exactly how the delightful trickery manages to fool our perceptions so completely. Of course, first and foremost, every piece is beautiful on the surface, but each one offers us so much more. From Eschers famous and elaborate Waterfall to Shigeo Fukudas Mary Poppins, where a heap of bottles, glasses, shakers, and openers somehow turn into the image of a Belle Epoque woman when the spotlight hits them, these works of genius will provide endless enjoyment.

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Masters of Deception: Escher, Dali and the Artists of Optical Illusion + The Ultimate Book of Optical Illusions + 50 Optical Illusions (Usborne Activity Cards)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling (1 Oct 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140275101X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402751011
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 10.8 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,723 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"[G]reat full page pictures, and just plain fun to browse." --"Library Journal""Children will find pleasure in [this] book, alongside their parents." --"Wall Street Journal "

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
53 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining book 13 Feb 2009
Length: 0:35 Mins
his book is a delightful treat to anyone who loves optical illusion.

Here's a quote from the author, Al Seckel, in the introduction:

<quote start>

In researching and presenting optical illusions to wide audiences, I have found that their effect on people is very primal. It does not matter how old they are, how artistic they are, how intelligent they are, what their background or culture is; people just love optical illusions and enjoy being deceived in a delightful and surprising way.

<quote end>

He has done a terrific job at research on the subject, collecting over hundreds of paintings all the way back from the 16th century. Many of the optical illusions found on the Internet are just extensions or interpretation of these masterpieces.

There are 20 artists featured in the book. Every one comes with a well written introduction and a gallery of their best work. While the book can't print all the art work for each artist, it has packed enough to entertain for hours. Each is also captioned to explain the idea and inspiration behind.

There's an incredible array of artistic style used in creating optical illusions. There's Escher who plays with perspective, Shigeo Fukuda who works with light and shadow and many more.

This is a very entertaining book.

There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Visual Illusion in Art - A Must Buy Book! 2 Jan 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic value book - great if you are particularly interested in visual illusion in art or it also makes a lovely coffee table book that you can just pick up and flick through whenever it takes your fancy!

The book covers 20 different types of visual illusion (e.g. visual suprise, paradoxical worlds, change of perspective, optical llusion, impossible figures etc) by focusing on the work of 20 different artists including Salvador Dali, Sandro Del-Prete and Escher. The layout is clean and simple and there are plenty of pictures to peruse! You also get information/background on each artist and their work so the book is a good all-rounder if you are a student.

In summary, a must-buy for any art enthusiast but you don't have to love art to love this book as it's such a joy to look through! I notice new things every time I pick this one off the shelf - highly recommended!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deceptively Brilliant 18 Nov 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a marvelously entertaining book that will please both the general reader and those interested in art history. It is, amongst other things,one of those rare books that are better when thumbed through with someone else. The editor has put together some genuinely amazing artists whose cleverness jumps off the page. I imagine teachers could enliven any classroom with the contents of this book. I hope there is a second volume on the way, perhaps including the work of the World War I camouflage artists.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars masters of deception 1 Nov 2011
By beehive
this book is excellant a differant view on pictures a good stocking filler for artists and non artists delivered very quickly and in excellant condition
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 21st 7 April 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Also for my grandaughter's 21st - she's doing an Art degree - and much appreciated
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great introduction to illusion in art 3 May 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this for my daughter who was interested in illusion in art but I didn't want to overdo one artist or another just help her understand that there are lots of artists creating illusions in different ways. She loves it and often dips into it taking it to school to show friends or trys to make drawings like some of the drawings in the book. A great introduction for all ages, could do with more pics and less text but having said that for the price it is a very good start.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Package well protected, Arrived as new. Fabulous book with amazing works of deception set to thrill you. Extremely clever. Highly recommend. Swift and efficient delivery. Excellent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars fascinating 1 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
to compliment a forthcoming lecture on visual illusion and of excellent quality and members of the committee enjoyed a preview - !looks very tempting and should mean more raffle tickets than usual are purchased
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book!
Great book if you want to read about the history of the optical illusion in art! Made a great Christmas present, but shame it's not a hard back that would have made it that bit... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Siamese
5.0 out of 5 stars Deceptively masterful
This book is all about the art of optical illusion in its many forms. I was familiar with Dali, Escher and Arcimboldo, but all the other 17 artists whose work is presented here are... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Dr Dombo
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting book
Me and my children enjoyed looking at this book, and trying to make out the illusions, also shared with family members who enjoyed it,overall glad i bought the book as one to pick... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Rachel Patterson
4.0 out of 5 stars Love it
Great book, but for my money there could have been more Escher and less of some of the other artists.
Published 11 months ago by k64
3.0 out of 5 stars Masters of Deception
Underwhelmed with this book. The best illusion/ picture is on the cover. Inside there are the familiar Escher pictures & the Magrittes. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Pat45
5.0 out of 5 stars Sunshine
I cannot really assess this book as it was bought for a Christmas present. However the recipient appeared to be pleased with it.
Published 14 months ago by mrs J
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Fabulous!
I'm always a bit wary when I see reviews (especially non-Amazon purchased) which say "I bought this for a friend and it is so good I am going to buy one for myself!" Yeah, sure. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Geoffrey Walker
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book for the price
Fantastic value for the money, would have liked to see more Dali and Esher but there are some good ones in here.
Published 22 months ago by DancesWithCurtains
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing
fabulous book! everyone i shown it too loves it! i bought it ofr both my boyfriend and my dad and they both loved it and my brother was eyeing it up as well! Read more
Published on 9 Feb 2011 by kjlamb
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