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First wood engraving

After their holidays with the Schiblers in Steckborn the Escher family travels to the Netherlands at the end of June 1931. Jette and the kids would stay until 1 September and Maurits until 18 September. He used these 3½ months to enhance and broaden his technique. He visited the artist Fokko Mees, who taught him the possibilities of end-grain engraving with a chisel. Escher bought a graver with a magnifier to create this very detailed work.*

His first attempt was an invitation card for his exhibition at art dealer Liernur in the Hague. He used the Lion of Saint Marcus at the piazza in Ravello as a subject. He visited the lion several times himself and he would use it again later, in a lithograph. Newspaper Het Vaderland wrote about it:

‘A skilfully engraved little lion, with archaic allure, invites us to see this exhibition; and anyone accepting this invite will not be disappointed’.

[*] Wim Hazeu, M.C. Escher, Een biografie, Meulenhoff, 1998, page 147-148

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