'Imposible staircase', 1950s.

Exton, David

'Imposible staircase', 1950s.
3 4 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 26cm


This is the first model of the 'imposible staircase' one of a series of 'imposible figures' designed and constructed by English geneticist Lionel Penrose FRS in the 1950s. Penrose's discovery of the 'imposible figure' laid the foundation for the scientific study of illusions and investigations into the psychology of human perception. The Dutch artist M C Escher (1898-1972) was heavily influenced by Penrose's discovery, and incorporated an 'imposible triangle' into his well known 'Waterfall' lithograph.

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© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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