From 2 October 2018 to 13 January 2019, Escher in The Palace will be exhibiting two special woodblocks that Escher cut in May 1957 as well as the book in which the accompanying prints were published. The blocks and the book come from the collection of Museum Meermanno in The Hague. Escher in The Palace is proud to be able to exhibit them and we are 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:
“he sings and repeats the same song over and over again, in every print he makes of the same wood block, copper plate or lithographic stone.”
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 not surprising — 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 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.
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.