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M.C. Escher: Visions of Symmetry (New Edition) Hardcover – May 1, 2004

4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Doris Schattschneider holds a Ph.D. in mathematics from Yale University and taught mathematics at Moravian College for 34 years. She is the author of more than 40 articles, and author or editor of several books. She was Director for two FIPSE-funded projects that developed A COMPANION TO CALCULUS and mentored several campuses in developing a course integrating precalculus review with a first course in calculus. She has been active in the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) at all levels, and was editor of MATHEMATICS MAGAZINE 1981 1985. In 1993 she received the national MAA Award for Distinguished Teaching of College or University Mathematics.

Douglas R. Hofstadter is College of Arts and Sciences Professor of computer science and cognitive science at Indiana University and author of the Pulitzer-prize winning "Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid".
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; 2 edition (May 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810943085
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810943087
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 1.4 x 11.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #848,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Noshir M. Khambatta on June 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover
It is most gratifying to note that at large, it is a professor of Mathematics who was inspired to collect the materials and compile this most penetrating study on the works of M. C. Escher. That professor is Dr. Doris Schattschneider and her latest publication "M. C. Escher : Visions of Symmetry" is a life's labour of love at collecting, classifying and indexing the works of M. C. Escher in a single volume. The book opens with a stunning photograph of M. C. Escher and a penetrating one-page foreword by Douglas R. Hofstadter.

Who then is M. C. Escher and what is his global appeal? Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898-1972) was a Dutch graphic and wood-cut artist, who for decades working in isolation, single handedly produced the most haunting, fascinating and intriguing works of tesselation, the kind, the world had not seen before. His obsession with visual patterns built by the intricate interlocking of shapes that repeat and repeat forever, filling every crack in the regular plane, made it almost into a visual poetry. What is remarkable is that an artist single handedly learned by himself, the mathematical laws of the plane symmetry group including all it's isometries (i.e. translations, rotations, reflections and glide reflections) as he produced year after year patterns with interlocking shapes of unmatched beauty and provocation. He saw symmetry and beauty where others saw only a senseless repetiton. One can spend hours describing the various feelings brought out by a single image, suffice to say it would require a multi volume encyclopedia to describe in detail all that is collected in this single tome. I am flabbergasted that this book sells on the internet for as low as US $11.00. It is worth it's weight in precious diamonds. Thanks a million Doris, for doing such amicable justice to a great artist, and for providing us such a timeless treasure.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is finally the Escher book I was looking for, a technical description of how he was thinking. It's a great companion to the Escher "pretty picture" books which are the usual publications. This book does a good job of going into the math and geometric thinking for those who want to create similar works.

Great resource for those of us in the visual effects industry who want to learn the technical aspects of Escher's approach.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Make no mistake. This isn't a comprehensive book for the Escher fan who wants to look at all his pretty pictures. It is a highly academic (no problem there, unless you're looking for, like I said, pretty pictures) book that focuses on basic patterns. It doesn't have many of the drawings that introduced me to his work in the first place. It's not the coffee-table book I was looking for, but that's my problem. It does have volumes of text for the so-inclined.
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Beautifully illustrated book on Escher that provides insights that other books do not seem to cover or focus on. The images from his personal notebooks are a great addition to the volume. The best book on Escher that I have yet seen.
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I bought this book for a college math course. This book would be equally good for math or art students. It is full of historical, chronological information and also covers how the artist's methods are in use today and are being further explored and appreciated. This is also a 100% complete collection of the artist's (very extensive) work.
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This is a very in-depth examination of Esher's work, including the mathematics behind his symmetries. This book is a must for Escher fans. If you aren't a fan, this book may make you one.
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