The liberation of the Netherlands in May 1945 was personally as well as artistically liberating for Maurits Escher. In the second half of that year he produced Balcony, Doric Columns, Three Spheres I and a woodcut for the ‘Tijdelijke Academie (Temporary Academy)’ in Eindhoven. He was also working on the lithograph Magic Mirror, which would be completed in January 1946.
In Three Spheres I, from September that year, he very precisely demonstrates how to evoke a three-dimensional form on a flat surface. He writes about it in The Graphic Work of M.C. Escher (1959):
‘At the top of this print the spatial nature of a globe is brought out as strongly as possible. Yet it is not a globe at all, merely the projection of one on a piece of paper which could be cut out as a disc. In the middle, just such a paper disc is illustrated, but folded in two halves, one part vertical and the other horizontal, with the top sphere resting on this latter. At the bottom another such disc is shown, but onfolded this time, and seen in perspective as a circular table top.’
Read more about this wood engraving in this story, which also features Doric Columns and Balcony.