Lot 52
  • 52

Maurits Cornelis Escher

40,000 - 60,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • M. C. Escher
  • Image: 190 by 3900mm; 7 1/2 by 153 6/8 in
  • Sheet: 288 by 4015mm; 11 3/8 by 158 1/8 in
Woodcut printed in black, blue and red, a fine impression of this rare print, the colours fresh, 1940, signed in pencil and inscribed eigen druck, on five joined sheets of tissue thin japan paper, with full (?) margins, in good condition apart from a foxmark in the unprinted area of lizards and other very occasional foxing, a small paper loss at edge of sheet and other small areas of thinning at outer edges of sheet, a small area at joint in the area of the fish where touches of black ink have been added by hand, probably during the printing process, occasional very slight creasing along edges of sheet

Catalogue Note

Undoubtedly one of Escher's most ambitious prints, the four meter long Metamorphosis II is four times as long as his first version Metamorphosis I from 1937 and elevates his use of geometric shapes to a new exciting level. The work demonstrates subtle transformations from the two-dimensional to the three-dimensional, and visually plays with the gradual metamorphosis of shapes into objects. Furthermore, the beginning and the end of the print coincide to form a unity of the complete image.

This rare woodcut is not only a quest in its imagery but also for its technical achievement. The challenge of printing a woodcut in various colours on three or five extremely fine sheets of paper was considerable and an edition of this print does not exist. It was only printed on request which explains the rarity of this work. The colour combination with blue instead of green is even more scarce  as most impressions which have come up for sale in the past are printed in black, red and green.