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Mathematical secrets of Escher’s images to be revealed at University of Warwick public lecture

A public lecture at the University of Warwick is set to shed light on the mind-bending art of Dutch artist Escher by taking a closer look at the mathematics behind his images.

The University’s Mathematics Institute will play host to a lecture by Dutch mathematician Hendrik Lenstra from the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Leiden.

Professor Lenstra will look at Escher’s 1956 work The Print Gallery, which depicts a swirling impossible world centred around a mysterious hole in the middle of the image.

The event, which is free and open to all, is part of a series run by the University which aims to open up the world of mathematics to the general public.

Professor Sebastian van Strien of the University of Warwick’s Mathematics Institute, who is co-organising the event, said the lecture would offer a fascinating insight into how art and mathematics work together.

“People often think of mathematics as something extremely specialised and abstract which is just not relevant to their daily lives,” he said.

“But the opposite is in fact true – mathematics runs through so much, whether it’s the banking system or the music we listen to.

“It’s not often you see mathematics and art together on the same bill but Escher’s works are a great illustration of how the two are interlinked.”

The lecture, entitled Escher and the Droste effect, will take place on November 28 at 6.15pm in room MS.02, Zeeman Building (Mathematics and Statistics) at the University of Warwick.

Refreshments will be served in the Main Atrium, Zeeman Building after the lecture.


For more information contact Anna Blackaby, University of Warwick Communications Office: 02476 575910 or 07785 433155 or a dot blackaby at warwick dot ac dot uk