Artist M. C. Escher
Created April 1946
|Dimensions 26.9 cm × 46.3 cm (10.6 in × 18.2 in)|
Similar Stars (M. C. Escher), Dolphins (M. C. Escher), Snakes (M. C. Escher)
As the title implies, it depicts three spheres resting on a flat surface.
The sphere on the left is transparent with a photorealistic depiction of the refracted light cast through it towards the viewer and onto the flat surface.
The sphere in the center is reflective. Its reflection is a self-replicating image of Escher in his studio drawing the three spheres. In the reflection one can clearly see the image of the three spheres on the paper Escher is drawing on: in the center sphere of that image, one can vaguely make out the reflection of Escher's studio, which is depicted in the main image. This process is implied to be infinite, recursive.
The sphere on the right is opaque and diffuse, i.e. neither specularly reflective nor transparent.