All Is Vanity Visual Optical Illusion by Charles Allan Gilbert

Charles Allan Gilbert Visual Optical Illusion

Today, we have yet another visual optical illusion created by the classics. Well, not that old, as the All Is Vanity, the published drawing that’s called by some a memento mori, was introduced in 1892, so not that long ago. However, it’s nevertheless and impressive image, that really makes that “engine that could” start blowing some smoke.

What to see

In All is Vanity, a beautiful (by that time’s standards – imagine Angelina Jolie or Megan Fox for today) woman is surprised looking and admiring herself in the mirror. However, if you zoom out on the picture or back up a bit and see the image from a distance, you’re going to see the visual optical illusion hidden away in this drawing.  Did you see it?

How it works

What not many know is that C. Allan Gilbert wasn’t only a prominent American illustrator, but also a great camouflage artist that worked for the U.S Shipping Board during World War I. Due to this, his works often see hidden images, that aren’t clearly visible at first – unlike this fairly simple visual optical illusion that we present today.  The drawing presented here, features a simple double image, that shows either a woman admiring herself in the mirror, or a human skull, depending on  the distance from which you’re looking at the image.

If we would allow ourselves to be bold and try to understand the artistic expression in this splendid example of visual optical illusions, we would say that the main idea is that, we all die eventually, and that beauty is only a stage in life – and that’s why women need to cherish it and hold on to it as much as they can!

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