Monthly Archives: July 2011

The warped space of M C Escher

Grid for Escher's Print Gallery (Lenstra and de Smit)

The Dutch graphic artist M C Escher is famous for his impossible objects, infinitely repeating patterns and surreal worlds.

Thumbnail of Escher's Print GalleryIn my opinion, his 1956 lithograph “Print Gallery” is his greatest masterpiece, combining an infinitely repeating image with a precise mathematical warping of space to create a truly mind-bending piece of surreal art.

In the bottom-left corner, a man is standing in an art gallery, looking at a painting of the Maltese city of Senglea.  Following the picture clockwise to the top-right corner, the painting expands, revealing an increasing amount of detail in the city’s buildings.  Continuing round to the bottom-right corner, we see that one of the buildings is an art gallery.  Returning to the bottom-left corner, we discover that this is the original art gallery in which the man is standing!

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