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’.