artist / participant

press release

The Herakleidon Museum, as of January 17th 2009 will proceed with the presentation of the second phase of the exhibition “From Drawing to Masterpiece” highlighting the Italian Period of the artist’s work. The second phase will be on display for three months, until April 18th 2009 and includes about 80 exhibits.

• First Phase "Period of Discovery" ~ 10/10/08 - 11/01/09 • Second Phase "Italian Period" ~ 17/01/09 - 18/04/09 • Third Phase "Unknown Escher" ~ 25/04/09 - 02/08/09 • Fourth Phase "Escher in Color" ~ 22/08/09 - 15/11/09

Exhibition highlights:

It is the first time so many of his Italian drawings are exhibited at the same time, most drawings are being exhibited for the first time in a museum.

Unlike his Discovery prints, the Italian landscapes had only one preliminary drawing. All such drawings were signed because Escher thought of them as completed works.

In addition to preliminary drawings, many drawings that did not result in a print will also be exhibited. These are fully completed works that Escher created, signed but never sold because he thought that one day he would use them as the basis for a print.

The centerpiece of the exhibition is his only known two (2) "scratch drawings". This technique requires the artist to paint the sheet of paper with one color (brown in this case) and the image is created by "scratching" the surface and revealing the paper below it. Although well documented in many books, it is the first time it will exhibited.

In addition: One exhibition room will be dedicated to the "Period of Discovery" (First phase). Several well known pieces will be exhibited along with original drawings and other pieces not previously shown. A computer will be available in that room where all the preliminary drawings of the Discovery phase will be loaded in high resolution (many that are not currently shown) and visitors will be able to select individual drawings and magnify them for further study.

The Museum has published a special edition catalogue in two languages (English/Greek) covering all four phases of the exhibition, with truly rare drawings and final prints.

Curators: Paul & Anna-Belinda Firos

JANUARY 17th 2009 – APRIL 18th 2009 SECOND PHASE : " ITALIAN PERIOD " (1922 - 1935)

“My meandering ways lead me across the crests of the hills. I can see far across the Tuscan landscape, far, as far as the waving horizon of the Apennineees.” (Letter to Jan van der Does de Willebois, December 25, 1922)

M.C. Escher was attracted to Italy, particularly the southern part of the country, from a young age and made several trips there beginning in 1922, always with a sketchbook in hand. It was in Italy that he met his future wife, Jetta Umiker, and it was there that they got married in 1924.

Escher and his young bride settled in Italy and spent many happy years living in Rome and roaming the countryside, and later raising their sons George and Arthur there. During this Italian period, the artist made hundreds of detailed drawings of distant villages and the landscape he so loved, but also of architectural details and tiny plants and animals. Escher subsequently made prints of many of these drawings.

In this exhibition, the visitor can see examples of such drawings and the resulting prints, as well as several drawings (never made into prints) that are works of art in their own right. This happy period of Escher’s life ended in 1935, when he and Jetta decided to leave Italy because they found the political climate unbearable under Mussolini. The images of the country remained vivid in Escher’s memory, however, and many years later he included elements of these in a few prints. Even in Belvedere (1958) and Waterfall (1961), two of Escher’s prints dealing with impossible reality, the background is based on a drawing of an Italian landscape.

only in german

M.C. Escher
Second Phase: "Italian Period"

Kuratoren: Paul Firos, Anna-Belinda Firos