Oscar Reutersvärd

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Impossible Object

Oscar Reutersvärd, born on 29 November 1915 in Stockholm, Sweden, is widely considered to be the “father of the impossible figure” (3D drawings which may initially appear feasible, yet cannot be physically constructed) He reportedly suffered from dyslexia and had difficulty estimating the distance and size of objects.

But his family was artistic, and encouraged his painting and sculpture efforts at home.


In 1934, the school student created a figure, the “Impossible triangle”, composed of a series of cubes in perspective.

“the triangle at first seems like the simple geometrical shape with which all schoolchildren are familiar. However, as the eye tries to follow its outlines, the triangle abruptly becomes a dizzying experience as its bottom link plays havoc with the brain’s intuitive knowledge of physical laws.” according to World of Mathematics, 2006, published by Thomson Gale.

25 öre

This triangle was chosen in 1982 by the government of Sweden as the subject of a 25 öre postage stamp.

In addition to his development of impossible figures, he was a designer of many public works in Sweden, including large sculptures, mazes and architectural features.