Recursive art

The Droste effect describes art that contains itself. The name comes from a brand of Dutch cocoa – the label contained a picture of the tin and the label (which contained a picture of the tin) – but the effect dates back much further.

Droste Cacao
Designer: Jan MissetUploader: Alf van Beem [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
In 1350 a cardinal commissioned an altarpiece painting by Giotto; part of the painting contains the cardinal holding a smaller copy of the same altarpiece. (He’s on both the front and the back of the altarpiece; I guess he really wanted everyone to know who paid for it.)

Altarpiece
Giotto di Bondone [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

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