Also found in: Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


1. Philosophy
a. The doctrine that the material world is an immaterial product of the senses.
b. The doctrine that free will is contradicted by determinism and is only an apparent phenomenon.
2. The use of illusionary techniques and devices in art or decoration.

il·lu′sion·is′tic adj.
il·lu′sion·is′ti·cal·ly adv.


1. (Philosophy) philosophy the doctrine that the external world exists only in illusory sense perceptions
2. the use of highly illusory effects in art or decoration, esp the use of perspective in painting to create an impression of three-dimensional reality


(ɪˈlu ʒəˌnɪz əm)

a technique of using pictorial methods in order to deceive the eye. Compare trompe l'oeil.
il•lu`sion•is′tic, adj.


a theory or doctrine that the material world is wholly or nearly wholly an illusion. — illusionist, n.illusionistic, adj.
See also: Philosophy
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
The exhibition--remarkably, the first on Liotard ever to be held in Britain--succeeds in introducing his peculiar genius, his committed exoticism and his unsettling illusionism.
Keelan's artistic illusionism is often biographical as she wrestles with transitory life and loss, particularly of her mentor, Marilyn Levine, with whom she studied while attending the University of Utah in the mid 1970s.
For Jaeckle, art involves a never-ending search for "the real," as opposed to the illusionism of conventional theater.
Her argument here presupposes the commonly held idea that Baroque illusionism enacts a breaking down of the distinction between actor and audience.
Insofar as "Smilansky argues that compatibilism and hard determinism are both true in important ways [and] we need to be partly compatibilists and partly hard determinists" (95), the same would seem to be true of illusionism.
Lorre gained professional experience through stage collaborations with Jacob Levi Moreno and Brecht, both of whom encouraged a non-naturalistic, interactive mode of performance--one that broke with the illusionism and spectatorial passivity associated with Aristotelian and Stanislavskian theater.
Pallavicino's writings articulate core religious questions regarding art in connection with faith, idolatry, and illusionism and stand in strong contrast to Bernini's perspectives.
This "obsession" with visual illusionism, defined by the perceived ability of a computer generated image to faithfully "recreate" reality, mirrors similar concerns for illusionism in the visual arts at large, concerns that are reduced by Manovich into 3 primary arguments: the image's representations must share some features with the physical reality it recreates; the image should be presented in a manner that reflects natural human vision; each new image should contain an element of realistic representation that is superior to the last: "for instance, the evolution of cinema from silent to sound to color".
If Plato's main objection to art was its tarrying with the trickery of mimesis, it should be no surprise that the contemporary travelling artist 'exiled' to a life of inter-city and inter-residency practice should likewise take interest in the cunning of illusionism.
The notion of illusionism developed from the generalised settings of Renaissance facade designs, where plays were performed against the same background like a public square or front of a palace.
Thus, for instance, there is a chapter here on authorship, publishing, censorship, and paratextual features, such as blurbs and jacket design, and another on realism and illusionism, with a section on the role of the 1857 Bovary trial in establishing the distinction between author and narrator; and so on.
The illusionism one associates with his style granted the characters a lifelike presence that no doubt contributed to their popularity.