Maurits Cornelis Escher (M.C Escher) is one of the most famous graphic artists to date (43 years after his passing). His signature mathematical art is hard to miss. Even if you haven’t heard of his name, you probably would have seen his works somewhere before (or some other works inspired by his).
Since 2002, the local authority of The Hague decided to house a permanent collection of M.C Escher (who was also Dutch) in a former palace, where visitors are not only treated to a visual journey of this incredible artist’s life, conceptual thinking, works… or rather, masterpieces, but also a journey down a former palace of grandeur and notably, very interesting pieces of chandeliers in each room.
M.C Escher & His Works
The museum follows a timeline of M.C Escher throughout his life, travels, inspiration and exploration of various art mediums in his signature realm of sketching/drawing and printmaking (including woodcuts, lithographs and whatnot). Most interestingly, it follows through his conceptual thinking and exploration of the various artistic themes (or rather, themes he started becoming obsessed about).
Notably, it’s impossible to miss the geometrical or symmetrical arrangements (even within organic and non-rigid subjects), illogical structures defying gravity that slowly inspired more artworks depicting the merging of fantasy into reality (and vice-versa) as well as metamorphosis, where his subjects transform seamlessly into various different subjects.
Within all these explorations, you could tell that M.C Escher definitely had a unique style (and mind) that is quite impossible to master or imitate. I think that’s also what makes M.C Escher so incredible – his blending of mathematics/ precise calculations into massively creative artworks (where it’s most commonly explored in freeform and usually without any structures).
The Former Palace
As visitors tour through the palace, it’s hard to miss the grandeur of the area. Besides the main M.C Escher works that are present everywhere, there are also some information, history and usage of each separate rooms so visitors would also get to learn more about this former palace.
However, the highlights of the former palace itself are probably the different chandeliers taking the form of various objects in each separate rooms (that are all still functioning), so don’t forget to look up in each room for a new surprise!
With the exploration of the mathematical and op(optical) art movement by M.C Escher and other artists, level 3 of the museum is dedicated to this art movement in an interactive zone where visitors can play around and be tricked by the various optical art as well as some kinetic art (art that contains movement either in reality or perceived by user interaction).
All in all, Escher in the palace is an excellent place to spend an afternoon at (or if the weather is cold outside). It’s educational, pretty (the works and the chandelier), very inspiring and fun for everyone. Even the non-art lovers have to agree that M.C Escher was a brilliant man and it’s hard not to stare at his impossible works and be completely intrigued (or usually confused) by them.
Escher in the Palace
2514 EH Den Haag
The Hague central station: tram 17 (stop Korte Voorhout) bus 22,24 (stop Kneuterdijk),
The Hague Holland Spoor: tram 17 (stop Korte Voorhout) tram 1 (stop Kneuterdijk)