I have mentioned M.C. Escher over and over again in our last articles so today I thought that we should talk a little about his work. He’s most known for his impossible figures; during 1950 and 1960 he created the most famous artworks with tiling and impossible constructions. Today’s visual optical illusion represents one of his most interesting works “The Waterfall”.
What to see?
The picture shows a small town with an elevated aqueduct and a waterwheel as the main object. The strange thing appears when you start looking at the aqueduct that begins at the waterwheel and continues above it. Even if the walls of the aqueduct are facing downward, suggesting that the water should fall there, the waterwheel is confusing. The water in this image falls off the edge of the aqueduct and over the waterwheel in a continuous cycle. The way the two elements are disposed are unnatural for the human mind, aren’t they?
How it works?
“The waterfall” resembles a little with the “Penrose stair” in my opinion. Most artists use in this kind of visual optical illusion the two-dimensional technique to create the illusion of depth as in the “Penrose stairs”.
In this illusion the effect is generated by the conflicting proportions which create a visual paradox. In Escher’s work we usually find geometric pictures which sometimes might pass as intellectual games rather than art, even so they’re highly appreciated by mathematicians and scientists.