Areas

Area 2. Natural and Artificial Landscapes. The Mediterranean

Between 1921 and 1936 Escher travelled to Southern Europe. He travelled around Italy and his voyages by boat would bring him to visit Spain on two occasions, in 1922 and in 1936, before finally residing in Rome. His encounter with Southern Europe and the Mediterranean are key to the artist’s creative evolution, becoming a recurring theme in his future works.

The Mediterranean climate, landscapes and light would be a source of inspiration for a great number of drawings and sketches. The natural and open landscapes of the Amalfi Coast, the mountains of Calabria and Sicily as well as the towns and villages of Tuscany would feature prominently in his drawings. Escher drew cites and monuments, natural areas and invented landscapes, night and day scenes, which he came upon in his travels and which he carried out with extraordinary virtuosity as well as various lithographic and woodcut techniques.

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 Apennines.

Escher also recreated in these travels the artificial landscapes of cities such as Rome. The series of works dedicated to Roman nights are of particular interest for his masterful rendering of light. The scenes depicting the Castel Sant’Angelo, Santa Maria del Popolo and the church domes manage to capture the spirit of the eternal city.

ASTRONOMY

Escher was fascinated by natural forms, and devoted his life to study their fantastic mysteries. Intrigued by the logic that surrounded them, the order, regularity, the repetitive cyclical or changes, he looked up to the sky and became an astronomy enthusiast. In 1941, once he was settled in Holland, he became a member of the Dutch Association for Meteorology and Astronomy, and started to take notes of what he saw through his telescope, expressing great interest and fascination for binary stars and constellations. He was always immersed in enigmas.

Works

  • San Gimignano
    San Gimignano
  • Roofs of Siena
    Roofs of Siena
  • Vitorchiano nel Cimino
    Vitorchiano nel Cimino
  • Rome (and the Griffin of Borghese)
    Rome (and the Griffin of Borghese)
  • Bonifacio, Corsica
    Bonifacio, Corsica
  • Lava flow of 1928 from Mount Etna, Sicily
    Lava flow of 1928 from Mount Etna, Sicily
  • The drowned cathedral
    The drowned cathedral
  • Goriano Sicoli, Abruzzi
    Goriano Sicoli, Abruzzi
  • Genazzano, Abruzzi
    Genazzano, Abruzzi
  • Barbarano, Cimino
    Barbarano, Cimino
  • Castrovalva, Abruzzi
    Castrovalva, Abruzzi
  • Pentedattilo, Calabria
    Pentedattilo, Calabria
  • Fiumara (de Stilo), Calabria
    Fiumara (de Stilo), Calabria
  • Cattolica de Stilo, Calabria
    Cattolica de Stilo, Calabria
  • Street in Scanno, Abruzzi
    Street in Scanno, Abruzzi
  • Pentedattilo, Calabria
    Pentedattilo, Calabria
  • Scilla, Calabria
    Scilla, Calabria
  • Tropea, Calabria
    Tropea, Calabria
  • Santa Severina, Calabria
    Santa Severina, Calabria
  • Cloister near Rocca Imperiale
    Cloister near Rocca Imperiale
  • Dilapidated houses in Atrani
    Dilapidated houses in Atrani
  • Covered alley in Atrani
    Covered alley in Atrani
  • Atrani, coast of Amalfi
    Atrani, coast of Amalfi
  • Ravello and the coast of Amalfi
    Ravello and the coast of Amalfi
  • Farmhouse Ravello
    Farmhouse Ravello
  • San Cosimo, Ravello
    San Cosimo, Ravello
  • Castel Mola and Mount Etna, Sicily
    Castel Mola and Mount Etna, Sicily
  • The hamlet of Turello, southern Italy
    The hamlet of Turello, southern Italy
  • Cathedral of Cefalu
    Cathedral of Cefalu
  • Cave dwellings near Sperlinga, Sicily
    Cave dwellings near Sperlinga, Sicily
  • Randazzo and Mount Etna, Sicily
    Randazzo and Mount Etna, Sicily
  • Old lava from Mount Etna near Bronte, Sicily
    Old lava from Mount Etna near Bronte, Sicily
  • Caltavuturo in the Madonie Mountains, Sicily
    Caltavuturo in the Madonie Mountains, Sicily
  • Calvi from the Citadel, Corsica
    Calvi from the Citadel, Corsica
  • Scaflani, Sicilia
    Scaflani, Sicilia
  • Church at Corte, Corsica
    Church at Corte, Corsica
  • Nocturnal Rome: Church domes
    Nocturnal Rome: Church domes
  • Nocturnal Rome: San Nicola in Carcere
    Nocturnal Rome: San Nicola in Carcere
  • Nocturnal Rome:Small Churches, Piazza Venezia
    Nocturnal Rome:Small Churches, Piazza Venezia
  • Nocturnal Rome: Santa Francesca Romana
    Nocturnal Rome: Santa Francesca Romana
  • Nocturnal Rome: Santa Maria del Popolo
    Nocturnal Rome: Santa Maria del Popolo
  • Roma Nocturna: San Giorgio en Vellabro
    Roma Nocturna: San Giorgio en Vellabro
  • Nocturnal Rome: The “Dioscuro” Pollux
    Nocturnal Rome: The “Dioscuro” Pollux
  • Nocturnal Rome: Basilica of Constantine
    Nocturnal Rome: Basilica of Constantine
  • Nocturnal Rome: Castel of Sant’Angelo
    Nocturnal Rome: Castel of Sant’Angelo
  • Nocturnal Rome: Colosseum
    Nocturnal Rome: Colosseum