Heading to Appear on White Tab

November 24, 2014

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.