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.
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.
The exhibition takes place simultaneously in two different locations in the city of Granada: