June 16, 2015

Happy Birthday, MCE

        Tomorrow is M.C. Escher’s birthday (he was born in 1898), so I thought I’d share a few more Escher wood block prints that I love.  These come from a series of prints of the city of Delft, made in 1939.  They don’t include any of the mathematical tricks or optical illusions for which Escher is so famous, but even so you can see that he delights in interesting angles and points of view.  Moreover, he clearly picks up on what geometric elements there are in tiled roofs and blocks of buildings.  I find it interesting that for each of these three pieces Escher has chosen a different way to arrange and fill the space, from the plain white sky that fills half the paper, which is quite uncharacteristic for Escher, to the tiny distant buildings filling every centimeter of background almost like a tessellation.

         I shared four more of Escher’s views of Delft from the same year on the occasion of Escher’s birthday two years ago.  You can see them here.  Delft is such a scenic city that it would be hard to go wrong portraying it, but even so you can see that Escher has come up with interesting ways to show something a little different from stereotypical postcard scenes.
        You can never have too much Escher, so I hope you enjoy his birthday gift to all of us!

[Pictures: View from the Tower of the Oude Kirk, woodcut by M.C. Escher, 1939 (Image from flickriver);
Roofs of Delft, woodcut by Escher, 1939 (Image from National Gallery of Canada);
Entrance to the Oude Kirk, woodcut by Escher, 1939 (Image from Escher Site).]

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