In this thesis many examples of the visual effects industry will be presented to give the reader an understanding of the importance of matte paintings in film history. There will be analysed how this illusion can be created by the use of pictures and what should be taken into consideration in order to ensure that the viewer doesn't notice that it is just an effect. The historical development of the matte painting starting from the first glas shots to analogue techniques to the digital creation of matte paintings are part of this work as well as the pros and cons of new production techniques compared to old ones. Moreover this thesis goes further into the topic whether the matte paintings purpose is already replaced by 3D effects or if the usage of matte paintings is still justified today. As a final remark there will be a brief overview of own experiences concerning the production process of matte paintings and some leads to avoid common mistakes and to improve the production.