For Escher and his sons George and Arthur, 1930 was a year of illness: the sons got pneumonia, an ear infection and whooping cough and he himself suffered from intestinal and electoral pains. In addition, he hardly sold anything and there were no assignments for new work. Castrovalva (1930) and Castle in the Air (1928) could be seen in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam in April, during the group exhibition from artists’ association St. Lucas, which celebrated its 50th anniversary. Escher was a member, but he would cancel his membership some months later. In 1930 there was only one solo exhibition of his work. This happened in June in the (now demolished) villa Waldheim of the Baarnsch Lyceum.
As a basis for work trips for Escher, but especially for relaxation, the family spent a large part of the summer in Switzerland. Mainly in Steckborn. Between 1927 and 1938 the Escher family spent some time there almost every summer. They stayed with Jetta’s sister Nina and her husband Oskar Schibler. Just like in 1929, they stayed there for several months.
From Steckborn Escher traveled to the Netherlands for appointments and also to Paris at the beginning of September for an interview with G.J. Hoogewerff about his Emblemata series. There was also time for relaxation at the Schiblers in Steckborn, but the family also went out by themselves. In the beginning of July they traveled to Weisstannen, a valley with lush green meadows, a bustling river that runs right through the center and waterfalls that flow from the mountains and the cliffs on both sides. At the end of August they had a holiday together with Maurits and Jetta’s parents in Ragaz, a little further away.