Solly Madonna by Raphael
The Solly Madonna by the Italian renaissance artist Raphael was painted somewhere between 1500 and 1504.
The painting is located in the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin. It is called the Solly Madonna because it was owned by the British banker and art collector Edward Solly (1776–1848).
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.