Hendrik Lenstra: Escher and the Droste effect

Hendrik Lenstra, Mathematisch Instituut, Universiteit Leiden

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Time: Wed 2012-12-12 kl 15.15 - 16.15

Location: Oskar Klein auditorium, Albanova

Schedule

15:15-16:15: Colloquium lecture by Hendrik Lenstra.

16:15-17:00: Coffee and SMC social get-together.

Abstract (Colloquium)

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.