Public Lecture by Hendrik Lenstra
Mathematisch Instituut, Universiteit Leiden
'Escher and the Droste effect'
June 22, 2004 -- 6:15 p.m.
Adel Sedra Auditorium, Bahen Centre for Information Technology
M.C. Escher's "Prentententoonstelling"
©2004 Cordon Art B.V.-Baarn-Holland. All rights reserved
|In 1956, the Dutch graphic artist M.C.
Escher made an unusual lithograph with the title `Print Gallery'.
It shows a young man viewing a print in an exhibition gallery. Amongst
the buildings depicted on the print, he sees paradoxically the very
same gallery that he is standing in. A lot is known about the way
in which Escher made his lithograph. It is not nearly as well known
that it contains a hidden `Droste effect', or infinite repetition;
but this is brought to light by a mathematical analysis of the studies
used by Escher. On the basis of this discovery, a team of mathematicians
at Leiden produced a series of hallucinating computer animations.
These show, among others, what happens inside the mysterious spot
in the middle of the lithograph that Escher left blank.