Monday, February 18, 2013

Droste Effect

The Droste Effect is a type of repeating visual effect that occurs when an image contains a smaller copy of itself. In turn, this smaller image also contains a smaller copy of itself, with the pattern continuing on in a strange loop.

The effect is named after an image first introduced around 1900 and used on the cocoa boxes and tins produced by Dutch chocolate manufacturer Droste. The image depicts a nurse holding a tray of hot chocolate and a box of cocoa with the recursive image.1

One of the earliest examples of the Droste effect can be found in the Stefaneschi Triptych by Giotto in 1320. As illustrated bellow, the center panel depicts Cardinal Giacomo Gaetani Stefaneschi offering a smaller version of the painting to St. Peter.

Due to the accessibility of low cost computer editing programs, there has been a lot of cool images and videos using the Droste effect uploaded to the web.  Here are some of my favorite.


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