Escaping Criticism is an 1874 painting in the Trompe l’oeil (trick the eye) style by renowned Spanish artist Pere Borrell del Caso.
Pere Borrell del Caso was especially famous for his trompe l’oeil works such as the one, titled Escaping Criticism which is certainly his most famous work and one of the more famous Trompe l’oeil paintings of all.
Trompe l’oeil literally means in French ‘trick the eye’ and alludes to works with include optical illusion that blurs the line between the difference between the illusion of the painting and the real world of the spectator.
Early Trompe l’oeil in art history was displayed with the mathematical knowledge of perspective in drawing and painting, especially during the German and Italian renaissance.
After this technique became the default for realistic painting, the 17th and 18th centuries saw this expand further into techniques that introduced a 3D-like quality, both in painting as well as architecture, as well as painting unrealistic scenes using carefully placed perspective – such as what we are seeing here.
Here in Escaping Criticism, also known as Huyendo de la crítica Pere Borrell del Caso’s native Spanish, we see a small boy who is making his escape through a window whose frame is simultaneously the frame of a picture. He seems to the eye to be leaping from the world inside of the picture into our world.
The boy is dressed in what appears to be 19th-century peasant clothing, barefoot with a concerned look on his face which could almost be interpreted as being of relief.
Pere Borrell del Caso’s Escaping Criticism is in the Bank of Spain collection, Madrid.