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M.C. Escher

Dutch, 1898-1972

Nothing is quite what it seems in the universe of Maurits Cornelis Escher (widely known as M.C. Escher). The Dutch artist, famed for his graphic prints featuring infinite staircases, twisted perspectives and self-replicating animals, was a master of illusion in more ways than one.

Escher's pictures aren’t simply puzzles designed to play tricks on the brain; they were born of a desire to stretch our powers of perception, to encourage us to cultivate a natural curiosity and playfulness about the world around us. According to New York gallerist Skot Foreman, the artist had a rare gift. “He combined the structure and analytics of the left brain with the artistic creativity of the right brain,” Foreman explains. “Somehow, he turned images into mind-bending universes that were able to stretch the boundaries of our imagination, urging us to rethink the realms of possibility within nature’s laws of order.”

But creating illusionistic illustrations was not Escher’s only talent. He was also a passionate diarist, recording his thoughts and frustrations in written form throughout his life. He often lamented that his pictures could never fully convey his cerebral imaginings. At the same time, he expressed impatience with those who couldn’t see beyond the surface appeal of his shape-shifting patterns. Escher was an artist who sought perfection and felt misunderstood by the mainstream art world.

“The most important thing about Escher is that he was always curious, always researching and exploring. Most people lose this quality as they get older, but Escher maintained a childlike enthusiasm for the world,” says Dutch filmmaker Robin Lutz, whose thoughtful feature-length film, M.C. Escher: Journey to Infinity, marries documentary footage with animation and unfolds at an unhurried pace, allowing Escher’s witty and intelligent prose to gently guide us through his creative evolution.

Escher always carried a magnifying glass in his pocket to “enjoy the tiniest details” at his feet, be it a plant climbing a rock, a butterfly or a grasshopper. He had a real passion for travel and spent more than a decade in Rome with his wife, Jetta, and young family. It was there that he first played with multiple perspectives, sketching the city’s architecture at night to avoid the “excessive baroque frills” he deemed too distracting in the daylight. Another big development was sparked by a 1936 visit to the Alhambra palace in Granada, Spain. Inspired by the Moorish tiles of the 14th-century landmark, Escher started to experiment with repeating patterns, or tessellations, creating his first woodcuts and lithographs of metamorphosing birds, lizards and fish interlocking and filling the entire surface of the paper in jigsaw fashion.

During and directly after World War II, Escher produced many of his most famous works, emotional reactions to a world plunged into chaos. This period marked the start of his fascination with impossible staircases, never-ending waterfalls and cyclical still lifes featuring figures and creatures seemingly caught in a loop, a paradox of entrapment and renewal.

Indeed, the concept of infinity was a major inspiration for him. It informs his fish-eye studies and curvilinear perspectives, which cram in so much dizzying detail it’s impossible to know where one thing ends and another begins. It’s no wonder, then, that Escher’s probing, mind-expanding prints have such enduring appeal.

Find original M.C. Escher art on 1stDibs.

Average Sold Price
$2,350
Styles
Materials
Regular Division of the Plane IV (Red Dogs)
By M.C. Escher
Located in New York, NY
Limited-edition of 175 Catalogue raisonné (Bool) #: 419 Custom frame dimensions: 22" high x 18.5" wide Comes with Certificate of Authenticity © The M.C. Escher Company B.V.
Category

1950s Surrealist M.C. Escher

Materials

Archival Paper, Woodcut

St. Matthew Passion by Bach
By M.C. Escher
Located in New York, NY
Woodcut in purple ink Initialed "MCE" in the block lower center Catalogue Raisonné: #Bool 302 Framed dimensions: 16 high x 14 wide inches © The M.C. Escher Company B.V.
Category

1930s Surrealist M.C. Escher

Materials

Woodcut

Belvedere
By M.C. Escher
Located in New York, NY
Vintage limited-edition proof; initialed and dated in the inked plate Excellent condition including full margins Catalogue raisonné: Bool #426 Provenance: Escher's printer thence by ...
Category

1960s Surrealist M.C. Escher

Materials

Archival Paper, Lithograph

  • Belvedere
  • Belvedere
  • Belvedere
  • Belvedere
H 18.25 in. W 11.63 in.
Grasshopper
By M.C. Escher
Located in New York, NY
Initialed "MCE" and dated "3-35" in the ink lower right corner Catalogue raisonné: Bool #271 Comes with Certificate of Authenticity © The M.C. Escher Company B.V. Framed dimensi...
Category

1930s Surrealist M.C. Escher

Materials

Woodcut

  • Grasshopper
  • Grasshopper
  • Grasshopper
  • Grasshopper
H 7.09 in. W 9.85 in.
Well
By M.C. Escher
Located in New York, NY
Catalogue raisonné: Bool #345 © The M.C. Escher Company B.V. Movement from darkness into light is a persistently important theme in Escher's work... Created directly from Escher’s w...
Category

1940s Surrealist M.C. Escher

Materials

Archival Paper, Woodcut

  • Well
  • Well
  • Well
  • Well
H 4.62 in. W 4 in.
Order and Chaos
By M.C. Escher
Located in New York, NY
Limited-edition of 46 Hand-signed & numbered in pencil lower left margin Also titled by Escher in pencil - EXTREMELY RARE Catalogue raisonné: Bool #366 Custom frame dimensions: 29" h...
Category

1950s Surrealist M.C. Escher

Materials

Lithograph, Archival Paper

Order and Chaos II (Compass Rose)
By M.C. Escher
Located in New York, NY
Limited-edition of 180 (very few actually realized) Bool (catalogue raisonné) #402 10.75 diameter on Hollande wove paper Initialed "MCE" and dated '55 in the plate (bottom ce...
Category

1950s Surrealist M.C. Escher

Materials

Lithograph

Weather Vane
By M.C. Escher
Located in New York, NY
From the suite entitled "Emblemata" Limited-edition of 300 Numbered in pencil lower center margin Initialed in the plate "MCE" middle lower left Catalogue Ra...
Category

1930s Surrealist M.C. Escher

Materials

Woodcut

  • Weather Vane
  • Weather Vane
  • Weather Vane
  • Weather Vane
H 7.13 in. W 5.5 in.
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Galleries Featuring M.C. Escher

Skot Foreman Gallery
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Vangard21 Art & Design
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M.C. Escher art for sale on 1stDibs

1stDibs offers a wide variety of authentic M.C. Escher art for sale. If you’re looking for a way to add color to a neutral corner of your living room or bedroom, you can find work that includes elements of orange and other colors. You can also browse by medium to find art by M.C. Escher in woodcut print, paper, archival paper and more. Much of this artist's original work was created during the 20th century and is mostly associated with the Surrealist style. Not every interior allows for large M.C. Escher art, so small editions measuring 2.369999885559082 inches across are available. Customers who are interested in this artist might also find the work of Scott Kahn, Ferjo, Fernando de Jesus Oliveira and Graham Sutherland. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $NaN and tops out at $NaN, while the average work can sell for $NaN..

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