by Al Seckel

Eye Create The Impossible! Oscar Reutersvärd – The “Father” of Impossible Figures

Published Date : December 20, 2012




: 221 pages, 68.2 MB
: English
: 978-0-9886753-2-2


Impossible figures are a class of two-dimensional perspective drawings that suggest three-dimensional physical objects, which can not be physically built, because they are not compatible with the laws of physical geometry.

Swedish artist Oscar Reutersvärd is generally considered “the father of impossible figures.”

Although impossible figures in works of art have appeared sporadically since Roman times either as mistakes in perspective or as visual jokes, Reutersvärd was the first to see them as something new and serious to explore.

His systematic approach to exploring impossible figures could justifiably be called “artistic research”. His drawings are the intuitive, sensual and informal work of an artist, and at the same time are a systematic approach of a scientist exploring a new dimension; a world that does not exist, a theoretical world that in our terms can only be called “impossible.”

Over the years, there have been several obscure books that have contained various drawings by Reutersvärd, but most of these are either very difficult to obtain (being in Swedish or Russian), or the images are of poor quality and do not represent any real insight into his creative mind.

Reutersvärd said that he had created over 2000 impossible drawing figures and variations. This volume, which contains over 200 original drawings, represents about a tenth of his output, and is a thorough sampling of his incredible creativity.

Most of these designs are unpublished. Reutersvärd would have been absolutely delighted that the ebook medium enables us to present his work in such a quality manner.


Al Seckel is one of the world’s leading experts on visual and sensory illusions and how they relate to the underlying mechanisms of sensory perception. He has lectured extensively on this subject throughout the world at many of the most prestigious universities and venues. He is the author of several best-selling and award-winning books on the science of visual illusions and perception, as well as desktop and wall calendars, and all manner of merchandise. He has also been active in designing and building interactive galleries on illusions and perception for science and discovery museums throughout the world.

Seckel also has a tremendous passion for delightful recreations of the mind, which include puzzles, impossible objects, origami, mazes, creative toys, magic, and mathematical recreations.

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- Al Seckel