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Woodblocks and The Regular Division of The Plane

From 2 October 2018 to 13 January 2019, Escher in The Palace will be exhibiting two special woodblocks that Escher cut in May 1957 and the book in which the accompanying prints were published. The blocks and the book stem from the collection of Museum Meermanno in The Hague. Escher in The Palace is proud to be able to exhibit them and we are therefore very grateful to Museum Meermanno for this loan.

“A graphic artist has something of the troubadour within him.”

So runs the graphically arranged opening sentence of Escher’s book The Regular Division of the Plane from 1958. The sentence carries over onto the next page:

It is this second part that touches on an exceedingly striking aspect of Escher’s work: repetition. The fact that he opens the book with this assertion is unsurprising—it is also a reflection of his technique. What follows is a lucid, self-penned exposition of his fascination with tessellation.

The book was published by the ‘De Roos’ Foundation, which was set up in 1945. In 1956 Escher accepted a commission to produce a book for this bibliophilic foundation. He was hesitant about doing so, as he was not in favour of the exclusive publication only being made available to the 175 members of the foundation. Nevertheless, the job excited him, not least because he would be allowed to supply both the illustrations and the text. He was aware that the combination of his text and six exclusive prints of his work could prove to be something special.

Regelmatige vlakverdeling, [The Regular Division of The Plane], Stichting 'De Roos', Utrecht 1958, 45 pages, 34,5 x 26 cm Printed by Boosten & Stols (Maastricht) Typographical design by Aldert Witte Edition of 175 copies, intended for the members of the ‘Stichting’ (foundation)
M.C. Escher, The Regular Division of The Plane II, woodcut in red, May 1957

M.C. Escher, The Regular Division of The Plane III, woodcut in red, May 1957
M.C. Escher, The Regular Division of The Plane VI, woodcut in red, May 1957

In addition to the book and woodblocks for Regular Division of the Plane III and Regular Division of the Plane VI, we also have on display three of the six prints that were printed as separate insert: Regular Division of the Plane II, Regular Division of the Plane III and Regular Division of the Plane VI.

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