Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Fooling the Eye

Yesterday we explored the interior of historic St. Luke's Church,
called the "Old Brick Church" its first couple of hundred years.
One of the features of the interior was this 17th-century chamber organ:

Krys Stefansky's 2008 article "Houses of Worship: Historic St. Luke's,"
cited in yesterday's blog, explains the painted scenes on the inside of the organ.
Stefansky describes the left door depiction as "Saul and David in the temple"

and the right door's image as being "Jepthath's daughter
welcoming him home from battle just before she is sacrificed."

The center image is a trompe l'oeil "fool the eye" painting of a grand hallway,
designed to obscure some of the organ's 150 pipes.
It does a great job because I never noticed the pipes,
just the painting's one-point perspective.

After our tour of the Old Brick Church,
we headed to Main Street in Smithfield, Virginia.
Main Street is lined with many boutique-type businesses
housed in old Victorian houses. 
Although we visited some of the shops,
 our primary destination was lunch at the historic Smithfield Inn.

The Smithfield Inn is a legend in this part of the world;
 it's been feeding and sheltering locals and travellers since 1759
when the 7-year-old house was converted to an inn and tavern.
And the Inn's web site confirms that George Washington really did sleep there--really.
Here's more about the history of the Inn:

We enjoyed our lunch in the "Garden," a sheltered terrace
between the Inn and an adjacent brick building.
I was completely charmed by the shutters and planters filled with flowers:

And then I was equally charmed by this:

And on closer inspection, it turned out to be another trompe l'oeil painting:

I thought that was quite a coincidence
since we had just seen the chamber organ at the church.
But then, walking back to our car after lunch, I saw this "window."
Seeing it from a distance, I was completely fooled.
 It really looked like a window until I got closer and realized what it was.

Sometimes being fooled can be a lot of fun.
Tomorrow, more fun on Main Street.

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