In St. Louis, we are lucky have some of the finest mosaic artwork in North America, at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. For a few years, Saint Louis University's MATH 124: Math and the Art of M. C. Escher course has punctuated their study of symmetries with a pilgrimage to the Cathedral to search for mathematical symmetries in the many mosaics.
Mathematicians group flat patterns into three types: Rosette, Frieze, and Wallpaper. These correspond to patterns with no translational symmetry, one direction of translational symmetry (a strip), and many directions of translational symmetry. For a basic introduction to symmetries and symmetry groups, see Math and the Art of M.C. Escher. The cathedral has many examples of rosette symmetries, examples of all seven possible frieze symmetries, and some of the seventeen possible wallpaper symmetries.
|Frieze Symmetry||Wallpaper Symmetry|
Updated . Maintained by Dr. Bryan Clair