Paintings

Description of the painting Maurits Escher "The Cycle"


Dated 1938. Lithography, dimensions: 47.5 by 27.9 cm.

This work of the famous Dutch graphic artist, known for complex conceptual engravings and lithographs, which are largely intertwined with mathematics, geometry and the desire to translate impossible realities. He consciously chose the path of an engraver, not an oil painter, because of his interest in the possibility of accurately copying images.

In order to create lithography, a greasy layer is drawn (with a special pencil or brush) on a smoothly polished lithographic stone and etched with weak nitric acid, as a result, the printing ink does not stick under the press to pre-filled areas, and the desired pattern is printed on paper. You can create copies many times, and in extreme cases, clean the stone and apply another image. This technique is much simpler and cheaper than the manufacture of engraving, so it has gained great popularity.

A little man appears at the top of the picture from the arched opening, joyfully running down the stairs, still not knowing that he will soon have to dissolve and disappear first in the mass of his faceless brothers, and then in an angular geometric field. It will gradually begin to assemble into cubes, which will turn into the tiled floor of the tower, and, hiding from the field of view, will again become a new gnome rushing along the steps. The cycle will close. It is very symbolic that the river flowing along the hillsides in the background, in shape and in curves, echoes the staircase. And in general, it can be assumed that this implies not only the cyclical nature of minor human lives, but also more global processes, for example, the water cycle or the seasons in nature.

Closer to the bottom corner on the black section of the figure, the author’s signature is clearly visible - the English letters of the initials “MCE”, V - May, the fifth month and two digits indicating the year of creation.





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