In 1946, Escher delved into the mezzotint, a technique that was new to him. The possibility of obtaining extremely subtle gradations of light and dark with this technique fascinated him. He produced several works based on this procedure, including Mummified Frog, Crystal and Eye.
Dusk (Rome) from May 1946 is the first of these. In total, Escher would only create eight mezzotints, the last one in 1951. The technique to produce and print the plate was extremely demanding and frequently tedious. In addition, very few prints could be created before the copper plate degraded. As a result, the yet very patient and precise Escher threw in the towel after a few years.