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Description Presented here is a vast gallery of many different forms of Optical Illusions. Whether these optical illusions are conveyed through fractals, photographs, architecture, art, or old fashioned pen and ink, they are bound to remind you that "seeing is not believing."

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Ascending and Descending

M.C. Escher is a great artist known for many drawings that feature impossible features.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Maurits Cornelis Escher (Leeuwarden, June 17, 1898 - Laren, March 27, 1972) was a Dutch artist most known for his woodcuts, lithographs and mezzotints, which tend to feature impossible constructions, explorations of infinity, and tessellations.

To Purchase this print click the picture.

The M.C. Escher work shown here is titled Ascending and Descending. His work has inspired many other artists over the years.

Wikipedia says the following about the works of M.C. Escher

Well known examples of his work include Drawing Hands, a work in which two hands are shown drawing each other, Sky and Water, in which plays on light and shadow convert fish in water into birds in the sky, and Ascending and Descending, in which lines of people ascend and descend stairs in an infinite loop, on a construction which is impossible to build and possible to draw only by taking advantage of quirks of perception and perspective.

Escher's work has a strong mathematical component, and many of the worlds which he drew are built around impossible objects such as the Necker cube and the Penrose triangle. Many of Escher's works employed repeated tilings called Tesselations. Escher's artwork is well-liked by scientists, especially mathematicians who enjoy his use of polyhedra and geometric distortions. For example, in Gravity, multi-colored turtles poke their heads out of a stellated dodecahedron.

One of his most notable works is the piece Metamorphosis III, which is wide enough to cover all the walls in a room, and then loop back onto itself. That was, of course, the intention.

One such inspired artist is Andrew Lipson. Andrew's page is currently forbidden. I am hoping that this is for a short duration. He has recreated various works of Escher's with Legos.

Copyright © A. Lipson 2002

Here is Andrew's version of Escher's "Ascending and Descending". This was joint work with Daniel Shiu. The full details regarding the construction can be found at the Ascending and Descending (back online) page. Since his page isn't accessible currently I'll let you in on a secret, in order for this construct to look real it had to be photographed from this precise angle. Again, please note that this image is copyright Andrew Lipson.

Andrew has recreated many Escher works. You can see some of them by searching Google, but as soon as his site is accessible again it is well worth a look because he shows angles and shares construction secrets that can't be found anywhere else.


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