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The 20th century Dutch artist Maurits Cornelis Escher was a master printmaker, whose works were heavily infused with ideas from mathematics. This textbook is intended to support a mathematics course at the level of college algebra, with topics taken from the mathematics implied by Escher's artwork.

This textbook is best when supplemented by one or more printed books about Escher. In particular, Visions of Symmetry contains complementary material on Escher's life and mathematical approach to symmetry, and Magic of M.C. Escher is an excellent art book that provides a much better view of Escher's artwork and technique. It is important to remember that artwork viewed on the web is usually small, grainy, and has poor color reproduction.

Throughout the text you will find Explorations, which are short investigative projects to be done in groups in a class setting. Explorations are intended to introduce material in a way that motivates and prepares the student for the more rigorous approach in the body of this text.


Anneke Bart and Bryan Clair are professors in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Saint Louis University. They have been teaching the Math and the Art of M.C. Escher course since its inception in 2000. Drs. Bart and Clair created most of the material in EscherMath.


This work © 2006-2023 Anneke Bart and Bryan Clair. Others may use these materials in the classroom without asking for permission. If materials are used in the classroom or for other educational purposes, we would appreciate a link to our page from your website.

Many images in this work are free of copyright and are available at Wikimedia Commons. The image page for these images will contain the appropriate link.

All M.C. Escher works © Cordon Art BV - Baarn - the Netherlands. All M.C. Escher works (c) 2023 The M.C. Escher Company - the Netherlands. All rights reserved. Used by permission.