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The Third Day of the Creation

In Escher at The Palace you can always view Escher’s most well-known works: Day and Night, Ascending and Descending, Reptiles, Waterfall, Print Gallery, Relativity, Encounter, Other World, Convex and Concave, etc. Yet we do, of course, also devote attention to the many other prints from his oeuvre, which spans over 50 years. But before they are given the attention they deserve and their 15 minutes of fame, they await their turn in the archive. Patiently, yet determinedly.

In March we had an overhaul, which entailed putting a number of prints back into a state of ‘dormancy’, and a new series of treasures being put in the spotlight. One of these is the woodcut The Third Day of the Creation. In the winter of 1925/1926 Escher worked on a series of six woodcuts about the Creation, I sei giorni della creazione. The series garnered a great deal of approval, both in the Netherlands and in Italy, where he exhibited them in May 1926. Besides day three, days one, five and six are currently being exhibited. Along with his initials and the date, Escher also cut a Genesis reference into each print of the series. For The Third Day of the Creation this is Genesis 1:9-13. It says on day three that God created the earth, the sea, the plants and the trees. In a wonderful mix of black and white, shape and residual shape and yin and yang, Escher creates his own version of this day.

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