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International Cat Day 2018

Today is International Cat Day, a great time to show one of the cats that Escher captured in a print. There are not that many. He often used animals in his work, but his tessellations and metamorphoses mostly feature birds, fish and reptiles. The cats are mainly from his younger years. The print above is one of those early ones, from when Escher was 21 years old, around the time he decided to become a graphic artist. On 17 September 1919 he moved to Haarlem. His landlady gave him a white cat, which would inspire him to produce several woodcuts.* In this one, the cat lies on the lap of a man who visited Escher in Haarlem. We don’t know who it is. It’s probably one of his childhood friends, Bas Kist or Jan van der Does de Willebois, or his older brother Nol.

See also International Cat Day 2017, featuring a cat on Corsica.

[*] Wim Hazeu, M.C. Escher, Een biografie, Meulenhoff, 1998, page 47

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