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Escher today

Here we tap into dates from M.C. Eschers life and work, jumping through time but always in the now. All year round you can enjoy background stories, anecdotes and trivia about this fascinating artist.

Escher and the Wadden Islands

The five Wadden Islands in the north of the Netherlands provide a home for locals but are also a popular holiday destination. Although part of the Netherlands, the islands feel like a foreign country, if only because of the ferry trip you have to make to reach them. Mainlanders flock to the area for the sea air or to soak up the island atmosphere. This attraction is not new: the area was already popular with holidaymakers when M.C. Escher was a boy.

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Donation of Verkade’s Koh-I-Noor tin

Last summer, Escher in The Palace received a special donation from Escher expert and mathematician Doris Schattschneider. She donated a Koh-I-Noor tin by Verkade, inspired by the Koh-I-Noor, one of the world's most famous diamonds.

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Escher in 2023

Every year is special at Escher in The Palace, but 2023 was truly one for the books. This year marked 125 years since M.C. Escher was born and that fact was celebrated far and wide. These days, we especially look back on all the wonderful exhibitions and events we had the pleasure of organising. The Escher jubilee year was celebrated with wonderful exhibitions at our museum and also at Kunstmuseum Den Haag. Fortunately, the final exhibition Just Like Escher can still be seen until the 24th of March 2024. The anniversary year was also celebrated with numerous activities in The Hague. In addition, we continued to post as many stories about Escher's life and art as possible. All the wonderful images we shared this year can be found in this special end-of-year animation. We thank everyone for their support over the past year and hope to inspire you again in 2024 with our stories and images!

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Looking at old masters

Inspiration can be taken not only from a direct mentor (who is essential for each and every art student) but also from masters from past eras. Escher, for instance, learned not only from his teacher Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita but also from looking to the past. In turn, De Mesquita drew on work by an old master too. Looking to precedents produced by artists from before one’s time is extremely common. Working in the style of or imitating well-known pictures is one way for artists to draw on the techniques and ideas of their heroes and to challenge themselves by looking at art from another person’s perspective

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Magical polyhedra

Flat surfaces were tremendously important to M.C. Escher. A two-dimensional blank sheet of paper gave him the opportunity to explore the infinite and to conjure illusions. On such sheets he would create deceptive three-dimensional worlds in which order and chaos are in conflict, just like in the real world. But despite order frequently losing out to chaos in the real world, Escher turned this on its head.

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Dream (Mantis Religiosa)

The period between 1934 and 1936 is widely recognised as a time of great transition in the artistic oeuvre of M.C. Escher. Gradually shifting his focus away from interpretations of Italian landscapes, Escher began to look for something new to incorporate into his work. This quest resulted in an approach that would become one of his best-known specialisms: merging worlds that did not, or simply could not, co-exist and bringing them together in a single image. The extreme perspectives on display in Still Life with Spherical Mirror – in which Escher depicts a reflection of himself and his environment – marked the artist’s first foray into this style. The pieces Still Life with Mirror and Still Life and Street are two other early examples of Escher’s merging worlds. Later, this desire to reflect impossible realities would lead to prints such as Other World, Double Planetoid, Gravity, Relativity, Print Gallery, Belvedere and Waterfall. Escher took an intriguing detour from this path with Dream (Mantis Religiosa), which depicts an impossible scene that is explicitly labelled by Escher himself as a dream.

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Escher and Rembrandt

A remarkable self-portrait by Rembrandt will be on display at our museum from 29 November until 29 January. It is a self-portrait with a stormy history, disappearing off the radar for many years and now returning to the place where it hung for a long time in the nineteenth century. This painting can be seen in the royal ballroom of the palace, amid M.C. Escher's prints. Despite the obvious link between this self-portrait by Rembrandt and Lange Voorhout Palace, there also appear to be undeniable connections between Rembrandt and Escher.

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Escher in 2022

2022 has come to an end and it has been another special and unforgettable year. These days, we look back on all the wonderful things we have been able to organise this year. No fewer than four temporary exhibitions have been held in the museum, in addition to the permanent presentation of Escher's art!
We also aimed to share as many stories as possible about Escher's life and art with you through our social media channels, our website and the in-depth articles we wrote. All of the wonderful images that we have shared this year can be found in this special end-of-year animation. We thank everyone for their attention and support over the past year and hope to inspire you again in the Escher anniversary year 2023 with our stories and images!

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Eugène Strens

In October 1952, M.C. Escher created a series of woodcuts on the subject of the four elements. It was a commissioned work for collector and graphic art fanatic Eugène Strens and his wife Willy. Eugène Strens (1899 - 1980) was trained as an engineer, but his great passion was graphic art.

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Mirrored illusions

In general, mirrors reflect reality, but in the world of art, different laws apply. Certainly in the world of Maurits Cornelis Escher. Here, nothing is what it seems. His prints are instantly recognisable, but the man behind them was something of an enigma. He looks at you in mirror prints such as Hand with Reflecting Sphere or Three Spheres II. Confident, empathic. But also composed and perhaps even a little mocking.

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More Escher today

State of confusion

To create confusion. That was what God had in mind when he made the people who were building a tower to heaven all speak different languages. In no time at all, it was chaos, and the construction was stopped immediately. For if you can no longer talk to each other,…
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It was a fact of life for Escher that his health deteriorated during the late 1960s. He struggled with it his entire life, but this particular decade was a succession of good and bad spells. During the good spells, he was alert and active; during the bad ones, poor health…
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In December 1958 and January 1959, Escher worked on a new print that he intended to display at an exhibition in Museum Boymans in February. Adopting the group name Vier Grafici (‘Four Graphic Artists’), he was exhibiting with Harry van Kruiningen, Wout van Heusden and Harry Disberg. A company he…
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