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Relativity

M.C. Escher Relativity lithograph 27,7 x 29,2 cm July 1953

In Escher’s world, a wall may very well also be a floor. One of the best illustrations of this Escher phenomenon can be seen in Relativity. Here he brings together three worlds, each with its own gravity field. What is at the bottom can be seen as the top from another perspective, and horizontal can suddenly become vertical. This wondrous space is populated by various human figures. They use the same stairs, but some are walking up them while others are descending. Their position in space is always relative. In the perspective of their own world, everything is correct, but they cannot place themselves in the perspective of the others; they would fall. They literally and figuratively live separately alongside each other.

Escher made both a lithograph and a woodcut of this print. The work is one of a series of prints in which he has combined various perspectives and viewpoints in one single image.