MC Escher: Illusions in Prints

A trick of the eye is something that takes incredible skill.

Night and Day, 1938

But an illusion created so expertly that it takes minutes to unravel what you're actually seeing — that is a real masterpiece.

I'm by no means a huge math person, but I certainly appreciate the works of MC Escher and his expertise in weaving images together in puzzles based on mathematical principles.

This past spring, the MFA hosted an exhibition of Escher's works, each one more perplexing and innovative than the next.

Sky and Water, 1938.

Another World, 1947.

He plays with patterns as much as he plays with gravity, forcing the eye to slow down and revisit each part of a drawing in order to accurately understand where the print dives into the unrealistic.

I was probably first introduced to Escher in primary school art class with his famous hands drawing.

Drawing Hands, 1948.

Each time I see his works, I trace the patterns over and over again trying to make sense of them.

Reptiles, 1943.

And I was instantly fascinated by his designs, wanting to go right into the print and walk through his mazes.

Relativity, 1953.

It's mind-boggling to me how one would even figure out a tessellation (interlocking pattern), let alone play with gravity and reality in such a daring, yet seemingly realistic way.

Waterfall, 1961.

Are you as intrigued by these as I am?

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