Tricks on the Eyes

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escher.png

In the few art classes I have taken in my lifetime, one artist always boggled my mind. Some artists have the ability to make you sit and stare at one a piece for a while, never figuring out how they could create such a thing. M.C. Escher had this ability.

This piece, entitled Ascending and Descending, looks like a normal building. However, the roof of the structure has been drawn in an impossible way. The steps are always ascending, however you always end up in the same place. But how can that be?

Escher, instead of using one vanishing point, has used two. Vanishing points are where lines in a scene meet and typical artists use only one. However, M.C. Escher was not a typical artist. He broke the laws of physics in his work and messed with his audience's monocular cue of linear perspective to create an impossible structure.

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I have seen this picture several times before; we even had a big one in my elementary school that everyone would get confounded over pointing and trying to figure it out. I, however, never knew that it is because of the use of two vanishing points though! Now instead of looking at it and trying to figure it out I'm trying to find those two vanishing points he uses. It sure does take a good artist to make something look normal, yet un-explainable.

In fact, now the illusion above is broken down into something called the Penrose Staircase (the impossible staircase). Below is a more simple image that can help show you the two vanishing points:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/34/Impossible_staircase.svg/220px-Impossible_staircase.svg.png

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This page contains a single entry by mcgin195 published on February 16, 2012 7:46 PM.

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