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1953, 28.2×29.4 cm • Lithography

Description of the artwork «Relativity»

Escher's passion for optical illusions grows out of his interest in geometry. As a child, he spent many hours studying the wisdom of joinery, which perfectly develops spatial imagination. Subsequently, these lessons were added to study at the School of Architecture. Adherence to the image of mathematically verified objects can be traced even in the early works of the artist - landscapes of Italian nature, panoramas of cities and interiors of churches.

Improving his drawing technique, Maurits enthusiastically experimented with non-Euclidean space, and the results of these experiments were Escher's optical illusions known all over the world. Picture "Relativity”, The description of which we invite you to read, was created by Escher in 1953.

This piece can be puzzled by an unprepared viewer: when you first look at the picture, stairs that look quite normal are striking. However, one has only to look closely and see where they lead, as it becomes clear that the title “Relativity” by Maurits Escher did not give this work by accident. His lithography is a visual confirmation of the relativity of human perception and the laws of geometry and physics.

In the painting “Relativity” we see a moment in the life of several worlds, which are united by common ladders and the plane of the canvas. In each of these worlds life is in full swing. Two people walk along the same staircase, but they never intersect, because they are not even aware of the existence of each other. Their proximity is deceptive: while one of them goes down the stairs, the second, moving in the same direction, rises up. The fact that the coordinate system of the inhabitants of one of the worlds of the painting "Relativity" is the ceiling, the inhabitant of another world calls the floor or wall. To emphasize this point, Escher uses arched doorways and rhyming figures of a girl performing a bridge gymnastics exercise.

Particularly noteworthy is the fact that Maurits Escher created the painting "Relativity" by the method of lithography. At first, he “carved out” the image on the polished surface of the stone, and then, after applying paint on it, received an imprint on paper. Imagine what a huge amount of work the artist did, transferring to the stone those images that he held in his imagination!

Like many other brilliant works, this picture acquired the status of a cult and became a source of inspiration: for example, “Relativity” can be seen in one of the series of the animated series “Family Guy”. Escher is represented in her as a rapper, standing inside his own lithography and reading rap. In another animated series (“Futurama”), characters in search of an apartment fall into an “Esher” house. The idea of Escher with an unusual space was also used by the creators of the adventure film "Labyrinth", filmed in the fantasy genre in 1986.
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About the artwork
Style of art and technique: Surrealism, Lithography

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