A class instance is created by calling a class object (see type-class). A class instance has a namespace implemented as a dictionary which is the first place in which attribute references are searched. When an attribute is not found there, and the instance’s class has an attribute by that name, the search continues with the class attributes. If a class attribute is found that is a user-defined function object or an unbound user-defined method object whose associated class is the class (call it C) of the instance for which the attribute reference was initiated or one of its bases, it is transformed into a bound user-defined method object whose im_class attribute is C and whose im_self attribute is the instance. Static method and class method objects are also transformed, as if they had been retrieved from class C; see type-class. See section [3.4.2] for another way in which attributes of a class retrieved via its instances may differ from the objects actually stored in the class’s __dict__. If no class attribute is found, and the object’s class has a __getattr__ method, that is called to satisfy the lookup.
Attribute assignments and deletions update the instance’s dictionary, never a class’s dictionary. If the class has a __setattr__() or __delattr__() method, this is called instead of updating the instance dictionary directly.
Class instances can pretend to be numbers, sequences, or mappings if they have methods with certain special names. See special-method-names.