M.C. Escher

Belvedere, 1958
Lithograph
18.25 x 11.63 in (46.36 x 29.54 cm)
Price on Request
Limited-edition, initialed and dated in the inked plate Catalogue raisonné: Bool #426
© The M.C. Escher Company B.V.

Impossibilities combine with beauty and history as we watch a regal group ascend a remarkable belvedere, or look-out tower. This is, indeed, an extraordinary building set in one of Escher's most beautiful landscapes created from Escher's memories and sketches of Italy's hills and valleys that he had explored years earlier. The tower is made of mysteries that can be illustrated - but not unlocked - by observing the strange cube held by the man on the bench. Before him is a blueprint of his cube, but like the fellow behind bars, he a prisoner of the physical world that does not allow right-angles to behave in the manner of the object he his holding. What appears real and solid we know cannot exist, and yet we see it clearly and marvel at its beauty! Perhaps time itself has shifted, since the figures in this scene are costumed from another era, and the woman approaching the stairs is, in fact, a figure taken directly from "The Garden of Earthly Delights," the 16th century painting by Escher's fellow Dutchman, Hieronymous Bosch which was the only painting by another artist that Escher referenced in his own printmaking. Climbing this tower gives us much more to marvel at than the scenery. On the first level a ladder is planted firmly inside the structure, and though it clearly leans inward, the top rungs rest on the outside of the building. Columns that begin on the front of the lower level are joined firmly to the back of the upper floor, and in fact the whole building is twisting around in space while maintaining its architectural elegance and integrity.

Included in National Gallery of Canada permanent collection - click here

Belvedere by M.C. Escher