Metamorphosis in Escher’s Art

Craig S. Kaplan
Bridges Leeuwarden: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture (2008)
Pages 39–46


M.C. Escher returned often to the themes of metamorphosis and deformation in his art, using a small set of pictorial devices to express this theme. I classify Escher’s various approaches to metamorphosis, and relate them to the works in which they appear. I also discuss the mathematical challenges that arise in attempting to formalize one of these devices so that it can be applied reliably.