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Perspective and Illusion

32 33 FIgure anD grounD either or this not that The illustrations on this page all show images that are simul taneously two things at oncenot a state of affairs our brains enjoy much, so they flip between the two interpretations for us. It is almost impossible to see Napoleon opposite top left without the trees momentarily becoming a background, and once the trees are studied, Napoleon becomes thin air again. Likewise with the reversing boxes, 13B puzzle, duckrabbit, and old and young man and woman below if your brain allows a second opinion it will try it out to the exclusion of the first. The dangers of alcohol opposite top right similarly take on a JekyllHyde quality. Fascinated by this flipping, Escher captured and timeslowed it in his 1938 engraving Day and Night opposite, where the black and white points of view become each others backgrounds.
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