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About Escher

Escher on film

Throughout the years several interesting documentaries, short films and a feature-length film have been made about printmaker M.C. Escher. On this page we show a selection of them.

M.C. Escher, Journey to Infinity

A feature-length cinema film about Escher’s life and work was released in 2018, titled M.C. Escher, Journey to Infinity.

“I am afraid that there is only one person in the world who can make a really good film about my work and that is me.”

Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898-1972) wrote this line to an American collector of his work in 1969. And that is exactly what Escher does in the film. He is the director himself. Not literally, but symbolically. With texts from his letters, articles, diaries, lectures and catalogues, supported by animations, photos and film fragments, he tells his life story in a personal, poetic and pointy way 46 years after his death.

M.C. Escher, Journey to Infinity is available on demand.

Escher working on Snakes

One of the very few moving images showing Escher at work. He cuts and prints Snakes, his last woodcut from 1969.

Adventures in Perception, 1971

A 20-minute documentary that contains lots of Escher’s work, accompanied by a dissonant film score by Felix Visser. Halfway through the film, Escher himself appears, working in his studio. The voiceover explains about his life and work, as well as playing quotes by Escher himself. The film was directed by Han van Gelder and forms part of the Living Art in the Netherlands series. The documentary was sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It was meant for the Dutch embassies, a film festival in Moskou, and the World Exhibition in Osaka in 1970.

Cinemedia, 1999

A documentary on Escher’s life and work, produced by CINEMEDIA with the
Nederlandse Programma Stichting (NPS) and Radio Nederland Televisie (RNTV) in 1999

The Art of the Impossible: MC Escher and Me, 2015

Professor Sir Roger Penrose is not only a big fan of M.C. Escher; he also worked closely with the graphic artist. Penrose first came into contact with Escher’s work during the International Congress of Mathematics in Amsterdam, in 1954. Some of Escher’s most iconic works are based on the work of Penrose, who began a lot of his research with Escher’s works. This film is made for the first British retrospective on Escher which was shown in Edinburgh and London.

The Mathematical Art of MC Escher, 2013

Short documentary by the BBC.

Fantastic World Of M C Escher, 1996

Documentary by Italian mathematician Michele Emmer in which Escher connaisseurs like Carolina MacGillavry, Bruno Ernst, Roger Penrose and H.S.M Coxeter talk about Escher’s work. The prints and tessellations are enlivened with animations.

Escher: Sky and Water 1

A section from a documentary made by the National Film Board of Canada, called Escher, Van Gogh and Seurat: Art at Play. In it, three Canadian animation artists bring the work of these three artists to life.

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