Cover image for The magic of M.C. Escher
The magic of M.C. Escher
Escher, M. C. (Maurits Cornelis), 1898-1972.
Publication Information:
New York : Harry N. Abrams, 2000.
Physical Description:
196 pages (some folded) : illustrations (some color) ; 32 cm
General Note:
"Joost Elffers books."
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
N6953.E82 A4 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize
N6953.E82 A4 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize
N6953.E82 A4 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



A splendid presentation of the master's work in a handsomely designed, oversize volume (11x13"). The 367 illustrations include drawings and preliminary sketches as well as finished works. The text, which is translated from the Dutch, comes from notebooks, journals, and lectures by M.C. Escher, accompanied by an introduction and some commentary by J.L. Locher, who is director of the Gemeetemuseum, The Hague. The chairman of the M.C. Escher Foundation provides a foreword emphasizing the fresh approach this book takes and the insightfulness of Locher's comments on the work of his friend. Art lovers and, in particular, art students cannot fail to be intrigued by Escher's own words. For example, in a 1955 letter to his son, "God, god. I wish I'd learn to draw a little better! What exertion and determination it takes to try and do it well...." Annotation copyrighted by Book News Inc., Portland, OR

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

The adroit and magical mind-bending drawings of the Dutch graphic artist Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898^-1972), especially his elegant animal metamorphoses and dreamy architectural illusions, fascinate viewers. Tremendously popular during the psychedelic era, his work now delights Internet enthusiasts, attracting 30,000 visitors a month to a Web site called World of Escher tain a far more meditative gaze, and this large-scale, beautifully produced volume of 380 meticulously reproduced illustrations is the ideal showcase for Escher's timeless creations. His mesmerizing drawings, enthrallingly rich in texture and detail, are accompanied by well-chosen excerpts from his diaries and letters, musings that reveal his wit and poetic sensibility. "Perhaps all I pursue is astonishment, and so I try to awaken only astonishment in my viewers," Escher writes in a self-critical mood; but elsewhere he expresses the true nature of his quest: "I try to bear witness that we are living in a beautiful, ordered world, and not in a chaos without standards, as it sometimes seems."

School Library Journal Review

Adult/High School-This marvelous book is a must for any collection containing works about art and artistic temperament. Not only does it present the wonderfully visionary drawings, paintings, and woodcuts for which Escher is so widely known, but it also includes excerpts from his writings. J. L. Locher, director of the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague, provides the overview for the volume. Beautiful, full-color foldout copies exhibit some of Escher's most mesmerizing and intriguing works: Metamorphosis II, Day and Night, Up and Down, and Magic Mirror, to name a few. Many of the studies for these works are also included and demonstrate the planned, logical, and mathematical plane upon which Escher's fascinating conundrums are based. The two-page displays for Spirals and Mobius Strip II (Red Ants) are excellent cases in point. The book is filled with magical drawings created throughout the artist's career. Letters to family and friends and parts of lectures given by Escher describe the way he saw the world, his life, and his body of works. He "wandered in enigmas"; was bored by the right-angled boxes forced on mankind by gravity, "our tyrant"; and felt unsure of the "existence of a real, objective space." Even those who claim disinterest in art will find themselves drawn into Escher's exciting, inexplicable, virtual world.-Carol DeAngelo, Kings Park Library, Burke, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Can anyone resist M.C. Escher? Although a considerable amount has been published about the art of the wondrous Dutchman, this book, designed by Eric The and created by Joost Elffers and Andreas Landshoff, stands apart. After a two-page prologue, the rest of the book consists of reproductions of his art in all of its obsessive richness and scope. There is no further critical comment and only pungent quotes from Escher's letters or comments by his friends accompany the beautiful reproductions, which range from blown-up details of his prints to ten large four-sheet gatefold spreads. Included are observations by well-known Escher expert J.L. Locher (director, Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, Netherlands). The book is a joy to hold and browse and needs a spot in every academic library. All levels. J. T. Frazer; Wesleyan University