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escher's metamorphoses

What I didn't know: there are three different versions of M.C. Escher's wall-covering woodcut 'Metamorphosis'. Interesting to see the development of this work, which seems to combine all Escher's creativity and tesselation genius in one extravagant print.

The first one, 'Metamorphosis I' (1937), is still of 'normal' proportions, depicting a single transition from a coastal town via a block pattern to an Oriental figure. The town is inspired by the tiny Italian town Atrani, which had already been the subject of an earlier Escher print ('Atrani, Coast of Amalfi').

M.C. Escher - Metamorphosis I

'Metamorphosis II' (1939-40), measuring almost four meters in length, features a whole series of transitions, both morphing patterns and pictorial transitions. The town of Atrani reappears, this time transforming into a chessboard.

M.C. Escher - Metamorphosis II (detail)

Elaborating still further, 'Metamorphosis III' (1967-68) is almost seven meters long and interposes a number of new transitions into the earlier version. New elements include, for example, birds becoming sailing boats becoming fish. Would be awesome to see this one up on a wall sometime.

M.C. Escher - Metamorphosis III (detail)

Behold and scroll through full-length images here:

Update: With 'Metamorphosis III' recently added, all three versions are now on display at Escher in het Paleis in The Hague.

Update: Still haven't verified this with my own eyes, but reportedly a giant print of 'Metamorphosis III', measuring 48 meters in length, is on display at Schiphol Amsterdam Airport. It's behind customs, in Lounge 4.


carceri d'invenzione

Giovanni Battista Piranesi 's 'Carceri d'Invenzione' ('Imaginary Prisons') are a series of poster-size etchings depicting a dark prison world - though prison is far too tame a word for these vast, nightmarish vaults where tiny figures wa… Read the full post »

One comment

These are great, thanks for sharing!

- Frank

frank , 20-12-’11 09:23

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