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Nonza and The Art Institute of Chicago

In spite of his modest income in those years Escher made a trip to Corsica in May 1933, together with his friends Giuseppe Haas-Triverio and Roberto Schiess. Corsica (Kaliste, the most beautiful, according to the ancient Greeks) was quite rough and desolate in those days, inhabited by just one hundred and fifty thousand people. On foot, by carriage and by bus they crossed the island within five weeks. The medieval town Nonza was the subject of a lithograph Escher made the following winter.

On 8 June 1934 he receives a letter from The Art Institute of Chicago. It states that Nonza won third prize in their print exhibition. The prize money, twenty five dollars, is intended for purchase. It’s equal to the price Escher asks for the print so it automatically becomes the property of the Art Institute. The cheque is enclosed with the letter. It’s the first American institute to buy one of Escher’s prints.

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