Escher yearned for the sea. He had a profound love of the sea and everything associated with it. His passion for the sea and marine life often surfaces in his work. Evening after evening in July 1933 he would stand at the high water mark on the beach at Scheveningen around midnight to admire the sea sparkle phenomenon, subsequently returning to his studio to experiment with splash painting techniques.
This enabled him to capture the swelling and rippling in a wave with tremendous accuracy, his amazement immortalised in the lithograph Phosphorescent Sea. Waves roll silently towards the shore. Stars pepper the black sky, white crests shine in an inky sea. Sea sparkle is a gift from the sea, with everything produced by humankind paling in comparison. As though nature is quietly saying:
‘Nice try, everyone, but look at what I can do’.
Read more about Eschers yearning for the sea in this story by former curator Dunja Hak.