Tessellations in Art and Math

Alexandria Polinski

M.C. Escher

Maurits Cornelis Escher is one of the worlds most famous graphic artists because of his so-called impossible structures and work with tessellations. M.C. Escher was born in Leewarden , the Netherlands on June 17th 1898 . In M.C. Escher's lifetime he made 448 lithographs, wood engravings and over 2000 sketches and drawings. His first work of art was eight human heads that was divided into different planes that was done in 1922. Escher studied the mathematical concept of topology , from this knowledge he created Waterfall and Up and Down. Some of his works include Trees , The Bridge , and Castrovalva .


There are different transformations used to make a tessellation. One of the transformations is called a rotation, which is just turning the figure in a left or right motion around a point . Another transformation is called a translation, which is to basically slide the figure somewhere else on the same plane.

Yet another type of transformation is a reflection, a reflection is just a figure flipped over a vertical or horizontal line. All of these transformations are factors in creating tessellations.