Modern-Day Michelangelo Brings Custom Wall Murals to Philly

From Margaret Everton on June 30, 2010 in Philadelphia

philadelphia michelangelo devliegerPhiladelphia is home to an amazing artist. He hasn’t quite attained to the stature of a Michelangelo, but he’s on the way. And the artistic mastery that he is producing is certainly reminiscent of, and inspired by, the late great Michelangelo.

The Philadelphian’s name is John DeVlieger. His specialty is large wall murals for the inside of upscale homes and businesses in the Philadelphia area. Thanks to a resurgence in classical art and in-home artistic touches, DeVlieger’s specialty found immediate attraction among the Philadelphia elite. By the time he had finished his first mural assignment, he had more potential patrons clamoring for his services.

philadelphia ceiling muralThe wall mural was suddenly in high demand. According to DeVlieger, “it was very fashionable.” For an artist virtually brimming with creativity and passion for wall muraling, this fashion-seeking clientele suited DeVlieger just fine.

philadelphia michelangelo wall mural

DeVlieger paints whatever his clients want him to paint. Nearly all of his works incorporate an artistic technique called trompe l’œil, painting in such a way to create an illusion of depth and reality. It is precisely his mastery of this technique that caused the Philadelphia artist to attain such prestige. Adding a mural to a wall of a room is like adding a fourth dimension—a separate yet unified area of time, space, climate, culture, beauty, growth, and life that is at one with the room itself. DeVlieger has imitated Michelangelo works, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema works, and has even painted a mural of a French garden, a beach scene and an underwater scene.

philadelphia michelangelo stairway mural

The Philadelphia artist prides himself on being able to deliver whatever a client can dream up, but really it’s DeVlieger’s creative prowess that produces the masterpiece. Taking a plain wall, ceiling or surface and transforming it into a masterpiece is what it’s all about. What Michelangelo did to the Sistine chapel centuries ago, DeVlieger is doing to Philadelphia homes today.

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