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New Year’s card PTT

In September 1956 Escher designed a New Year’s card for the Dutch postal service (PTT). He would reuse the motif of the winged envelopes (in slightly altered form) when the PTT approached him again in 1967 asking him to ‘extend’ his Metamorphosis II from the existing 153 inches to 268 inches

For the new post office in The Hague this new Metamorphosis III would be blown up to a giant 157 feet. So Escher had to come up with another 115 inches. This might explain the recurrence of the sailing boats from a 1948 woodcut and the horses and birds from a 1949 wood engraving in Metamorphosis III. Just like a number of other forms he created between 1940 and 1967. Escher viewed the commission pragmatically:

‘otherwise the completion of the commission would have taken much longer. These regular divisions of the plane don’t just magically appear.’

Read more about the different versions of the Metamorphosis.

More Escher today