Teachers Lesson Plans

M.C. Escher

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Mummified Frog, 1946 and Rippled Surface, 1950

These two works illustrate one of Escher's essential qualities as an artist: a sense of wonder. Details that would go unnoticed by most people caught his attention and sparked his creative mind.

Escher used the printmaking techniques that enabled him to achieve the desired visual effect. Mezzotint (or black manner) creates soft and subtle gradations of tone, ranging from black to pure white. This made it appropriate for rendering the faintly shimmering skin of the frog found behind a piece of furniture in his studio. For Rippled Surface, in which he reproduces a striking visual impression experienced during a walk in the woods, Escher chose the linocut technique. Linoleum can produce large, uniform print surfaces and can be cut in all directions, as for the curving ripples in the water.