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Rind

May 1954 sees Escher working on Rind. He was inspired by The Invisible Man, an 1897 science fiction novel by the British author H.G. Wells. In it, an invisible man can only be seen by means of the bandages in which he is wrapped. Escher changes the man into a woman. Escher was searching for the right composition, using his wife Jetta as a model. In 1954, he first carried out two studies, reaching a final result in May 1955. He describes it like this:

‘Like the spiral-shaped peel of a fruit and like a hollow fragmented sculpture, the image of a woman floats through space. The sense of depth is enhanced by a bank of clouds which diminishes towards the horizon.’

Study I for Rind, wood engraving, May 1954
Study II for Rind, wood engraving, May 1954


In Bond of Union, which he produced a year after this, he added himself and created a couple in doing so. In that lithograph he also solved a problem that bothered him in Rind. There, the loose ends of the bandage can be seen. In contrast, the strip in Bond of Union is endless, like an eternal cycle.

H.G. Wells, The Invisible Man, first edition, 1897
H.G. Wells, The Invisible Man, Canon Classics. 2016

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