Escher, master of wonder, on display in Florence – Florence

Maurits Cornelis Escher, Senglea, Malta, 1935, Woodcut, 46 x 31 cm, Maurits Collection, Bolzano All MC Escher works © 2022 The MC Escher Company. All rights reserved

Florence“Amazement is the salt of the earth” said Maurits Cornelis Escher, the most loved engraver of the twentieth century.
And in fact the triumph of reflective spheres, impossible geometries and fantastic universes that enchant the monumental complex designed by Filippo Brunelleschi, home to the Museo degli Innocenti, is truly a glance that produces wonder.
From 20 October to 26 March the Dutch artist will be in Florence with about 200 works at the center of eight sections – one of which is dedicated to his journey to Italy and Tuscany, where he held his first solo exhibition in 1923 – which show visitors in those imaginative and impossible worlds that blend science and nature, magic and mathematics, analytical rigor and contemplative ability, and more art, mathematics, science, physics, design.

Maurits Cornelis Escher, San Gimignano, 1923, Woodcut, 49.3 x 28.9 cm, Maurits Collection, Bolzano All MC Escher works © 2022 The MC Escher Company. All rights reserved

The artist’s first visit to the city was in 1921, on the occasion of a holiday with his parents during which he was so fascinated that he returned to Tuscany the following year in the company of some friends. And it was from the Tuscan places and from the wild beauty of the landscapes of the center and south of the peninsula that Escher found inspiration for his works.
The anthology ready to open its doors tomorrow in Florence browses the most representative works that have made him famous all over the world by telling the genius of the Dutch artist through the most iconic works of his production, from Hand with reflective sphere (1935) a Bond of union (1956), from Metamorphosis II (1939) a Day and night (1938).

In the museum created to exhibit the works of art of the ancient hospital, a large reception center for children, transformed into a path that allows you to discover a cultural heritage deeply linked to the activity carried out in favor of children who could not have grown up families of origin, and which houses masterpieces by artists such as Domenico Ghirlandaio, Luca and Andrea della Robbia, Sandro Botticelli, the works of Escher bewitched.

Maurits Cornelis Escher, Bond of union, 1956, Lithograph, 33.9 x 25.3 cm, Maurits Collection, Bolzano, All MC Escher works © 2022 The MC Escher Company. All rights reserved

From the first works inspired by Art Nouveau to the “Eschermania” with the influence exercised by the artist on contemporary painters and digital artists, the journey to discover the genius continues in the exhibition with the trips to Italy that allowed him to broaden his horizons artistic.

In this universe in which birds gradually turn into fish and a lizard becomes the cell of a hive, there are also antithetical but complementary elements, such as day and night or good and evil, which, in the same composition, intertwine the opposites. The public proceeds through architectures and geometric compositions characterized by perspective aberrations, impossible constructions resulting from a dialogue with mathematicians and crystallographers, optical illusions, the representation of infinity.
A section of the exhibition curated by Mark Veldhuysen, CEO of the MC Escher Company, and by Federico Giudiceandrea, through works such as Ascent and descent, Belvedere, Waterfall, Gallery of prints And Relativity, analyzes how Escher tried to force beyond all limits the representation of impossible situations, but apparently concrete. Yet, despite everything, his fame came to him late, indeed only in the last years of his life.

Maurits Cornelis Escher, Waterfall, 1961, Lithograph, 32 x 30 cm, Private collection, Italy | All MC Escher works © 2019 The MC Escher Company | All rights reserved

Back then, to make ends meet, he often devoted himself to commissioned works, modest projects, such as the creation of simple greeting cards and decorated labels that were applied to books to indicate the owner.
He also performed public contracts such as the design of banknotes and postage stamps. In 1967 he made a seven-meter engraving entitled Metamorphosis III for the post office in The Hague in the Netherlands: a work that is now considered one of his masterpieces. Sponsored by the Municipality of Florence, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the exhibition is produced and organized by Arthemisia in collaboration with the MC Escher Foundation, Maurits and In Your Event.

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