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Escher and the Droste effect
  SMC Colloquium

Wednesday 12 December 2012
from 15:15 to 16:15
at Oskar Klein auditorium
Speaker : Hendrik Lenstra (Mathematisch Instituut, Universiteit Leiden)
Abstract :

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 series of hallucinating computer animations was produced at Leiden. These show, among others, what happens inside the mysterious spot in the middle of the lithograph that Escher left blank.


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