M.C. Escher's Fascinating Art Work

John Kidner

His Work was Mathematically Inspired

M.C. Escher (1898 - 1972) was born in the Netherlands and is one of the most famous graphic artists. He went to the school for Architecture and Decorative Arts after he failed his high school exams. The left-handed artist has made over 2,000 drawings and sketches in his lifetime with much of his work having a mathematic element. He is most famous for his so-called impossible objects which are optical illusions such as Relativity and Ascending and Descending. Many of his works also used tessellations which are repeat patterns of shapes covering an entire plane, such as Sky and Water. Today, his art work continues to amaze people all over the world.


Transformations Used in Tessellations

A transformation changes the position of a shape on a plane. It means that a shape moves from one place to another. There are three kinds of transformations used in tessellations which are reflection, translation, and rotation. Relection means to flip across a line and face the opposite direction. Translation means to slide or move in one direction from one place to another. Rotation means to turn on a point away from its original position.