Parcelles d'Infini: Promenade au jardin d'Escher
("Pieces of Infinity: A walk through Escher's Garden")

A book by Alain Nicolas about how to make and appreciate tessellation art

ISBN-10: 2842450752
ISBN-13: 978-2842450755
Language: Français
A book review by Doctor David

It is not often is asked to review a book solely about tessellations because so few are written. But here is a French paperback of 184 pages absolutely crammed with a plethora of information, diagrams and original full-page drawings.


Alain Nicolas begins with a short history of M.C.Escher but quickly launches into the meat of the book with an introductory chapter on the basic forms. There follows chapters on transforming polygons, assembling them into pavings (or tessellations), weaving the groundworks, using the base polygons, dividing them up, tessellating with words, deforming the groundworks and playing with isometries. The headings may sound dull but Alain illustrates all of them with readily understandable and fun drawings like that on the right. These are frequently developed to full page original illustrations.

It's all here; rotations, reflections, glides, explanation and examples of the various classification types, including the 17 wallpapers, etc. By following the diagrams it is easy to see how to construct your own tessellations even if you are unable to understand the French text.

Most of the book uses representative tessellations such as birds, fish, people and reptiles to illustrate the points being made and they are used to excellent effect. Unsually, there is a notable chapter on tessellations using words - well worth attention.

I would thoroughly recommend this book. If you are not French speaking don't let it put you off. Most of the content is easy to follow as it is mainly graphic in nature and fully suitable for children as well as adults.

This book is a little goldmine and at €21 won't break the bank. It can be obtained online from

See the kittens tessellation completed - Scroll down to the bottom of this page.
Buy the book from, or order it directly from Alain Nicolas' editor
Click here for Further information on Alain Nicolas's own site (in English and French)
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"Chatons" ("Kittens"), finished.
An Escher-style tessellation by Alain Nicolas, from his book "Parcelles d'Infini"

Finished version of Kitten Tessellation by Alain Nicolas

Illustration from Alain Nicolas' Lesson about Tessellation with a Cat Motif
Illustration from Alain Nicolas' Lesson about
Tessellation with a Cat Motif