il·​lu·​sion·​ism i-ˈlü-zhə-ˌni-zəm How to pronounce illusionism (audio)
: the use of artistic techniques (such as perspective or shading) to create the illusion of reality especially in a work of art

Examples of illusionism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In art, all this necessitated a turn away from illusionism and a return to the basic building blocks, the foundational honesty of abstraction: line, color, materials, structure. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, 14 Apr. 2023 The greatest leaps in his development as an abstract painter came through absorption of the liberation of color in French Fauvism and the spatial transformation of pictorial illusionism in Claude Monet’s lily ponds, as well as from traditional Japanese aesthetics. Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times, 13 Apr. 2023 That, at least, is how the story of Cubism usually goes: a story of an utter break with illusionism. Jason Farago, New York Times, 11 Nov. 2022 Modernism rejected illusionism; Kollwitz embraces it wholeheartedly. Eric Gibson, WSJ, 26 Aug. 2022 The museum succeeds when its curators focus on the how and why of illusionism. Washington Post, 27 Jan. 2022 Cézanne wanted to cast out the 500-year-old demons of pictorial illusionism, naturalism, and romanticizing. Jerry Saltz, Vulture, 7 July 2021 For centuries before Cézanne, the greatest European art was the art that most accurately pictured the world, with precision, illusionism, elegance, sprezzatura. Jason Farago, New York Times, 27 June 2021 Graphically, its sophistication is immense, switching back and forth between flat typography and 3-D illusionism. Washington Post, 27 Oct. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'illusionism.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1911, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of illusionism was in 1911

Dictionary Entries Near illusionism

Cite this Entry

“Illusionism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Oct. 2023.

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