The Chatsworth Violin,_State_Music_Room,_Chatsworth.JPG
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Visitors to Chatsworth House in Derbyshire are struck at the illusion of a violin hanging on a door in the State Music Room. The peg is real, but the violin is not — it’s a very convincing trompe l’oeil painting executed by the Dutch artist Jan van der Vaardt.

It’s thought to have been painted around 1723. In his Anecdotes of Painting (1762), Horace Walpole writes, “In old Devonshire-house in Piccadilly, he painted a violin against a door that deceived every body. When the house was burned, this piece was preserved, and is now at Chatsworth.”