Adoration of the Magi by Albrecht Durer
The painting was probably commissioned by the Elector of Saxony, Frederic the Wise (1486-1525) for the chapel at the Wittenberg castle. Completed by Dürer after his first visit to Italy (1494-1495), the panel exemplifies the fusion of northern attention to detail, a typically Italian perspective, and a color sense influenced by the Venetian painting of Mantegna and Giovanni Bellini. It has been in the Uffizi since 1793 following an exchange with the Imperial Gallery of Vienna.
Google Art Project.
Albrecht Durer (1471 – 1528) was a German painter, printmaker, mathematician, engraver, and theorist from Nuremberg. His prints established his reputation across Europe when he was still in his twenties, and he has been conventionally regarded as the greatest artist of the Northern Renaissance ever since.
The Uffizi Gallery is a museum in Florence, Italy. It is one of the oldest and most famous art museums of the Western world. Building of the palace was begun by Giorgio Vasari in 1560 for Cosimo I de' Medici as the offices for the Florentine magistrates. Source: Wikipedia, Uffizi.
A golden rectangle
is a rectangle whose side lengths are in the golden ratio,
one-to-phi, that is, approximately 1:1.618. A distinctive
feature of this shape is that when a square section is
removed, the remainder is another golden rectangle, that is,
with the same proportions as the first. Square removal can
be repeated infinitely, which leads to an approximation of
the golden or Fibonacci spiral.
The Droste effect is a specific kind of recursive picture, one that in heraldry is termed mise en abyme. An image exhibiting the Droste effect depicts a smaller version of itself in a place where a similar picture would realistically be expected to appear. This smaller version then depicts an even smaller version of itself in the same place, and so on. Only in theory could this go on forever; practically, it continues only as long as the resolution of the picture allows, which is relatively short, since each iteration geometrically reduces the picture's size. It is a visual example of a strange loop, a self-referential system of instancing which is the cornerstone of fractal geometry.