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Mummified Frog

In August 1946 Escher created a mezzotint of a mummified frog. It is a technique he uses rarely, despite the subtle nuances in tone it can achieve. The choice of both subject and composition are atypical for this period, in which he experiments with tessellations and geometrical shapes. Escher found the frog behind a piece of furniture in his own house. He shows its skeleton just as he sees it. He prints the work himself, 24 copies on his own press*.

Although the mezzotint is a technique more suited to detailed and realistic work, in Synthesis (April 1947), Crystal (December 1947) and Plane Filling I (March 1951) Escher would make three mezzotints about these subjects. But Plane Filling I would be the last one. The technique proved to be too time-consuming in a period of robust growth in demand for his work. In any case, these experiments mean we can admire this dead frog with its odd gaze indefinitely

[*] Wim Hazeu, M.C. Escher, Een biografie, Meulenhoff, 1998, page 305

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