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About Escher

Escher on film

During the years several interesting documentaries and short films have been made about Maurits Escher. On this page we show a selection of them.

Escher working on Snakes

The only known film showing Escher at work. He cuts and prints Snakes, his last woodcut from 1969.

Adventures in Perception, 1971

A 20-minute documentary which contains lots of Escher’s work, accompanied by a dissonant film score by Felix Visser. Half way through the film, Escher himself appears, working in his studio. The voiceover explains about his life and work, as well as playing quotes by Escher himself. The film was directed by Han Van Gelder and forms part of the Living Art in the Netherlands series. The documentary was sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It was meant for the Dutch embassies, a film festival in Moskou and the World Exhibition in Osaka in 1970.

Cinemedia, 1999

A documentary on Escher’s life and work, produced by CINEMEDIA with the
Nederlandse Programma Stichting (NPS) and Radio Nederland Televisie (RNTV) in 1999

The Art of the Impossible: MC Escher and Me, 2015

Professor Sir Roger Penrose is not only a big fan of M.C. Escher; he also worked closely with the graphic artist. Penrose first came into contact with Escher’s work during the International Congress of Mathematics in Amsterdam, in 1954. Some of Escher’s most iconic works are based on the work of Penrose, who began a lot of his research with Escher’s works. This film is made for the first British retrospective on Escher which was shown in Edinburgh and London.

The Mathematical Art of MC Escher, 2013

Short documentary by the BBC.

Escher’s Infinite Perspective, 2007

Canadian documentary about the search by a team of mathematicians from Leiden University led by Professor Hendrik Lenstra for the missing center of Print Gallery, Escher’s magnificent print in which a spiral with Droste effect is drawing in the viewer and which has fascinated mathematicians for decades. The documentary makes clear why Print Gallery can be considered as Escher’s definitive masterpiece. The search is at the heart but other work and themes by the graphic artist are present too.

Escher: Sky and Water 1

A section from a documentary made by the National Film Board of Canada, called Escher, Van Gogh and Seurat: Art at Play. In it, three Canadian animation artists bring the work of these three artists to life.

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