escher's journey until 28 october

The Museum of Friesland brings M.C. Escher back to his hometown Leeuwarden. In Escher's Journey (28 April to 28 October 2018) you can follow his development from a graphic designer to a world-famous artist. With more than eighty original prints, about twenty drawings as well as various photographs and objects, visitors follow in the footsteps of this travel-mad graphic artist, who found inspiration for his most famous works in Italy and Spain.

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Left: M.C. Escher’s “Cycle” (1938). Right: M.C. Escher’s “Waterfall” (1961) © the M.C. Escher Company B.V. All rights reserved. Click to see the full picture.

The journey starts in the grey, flat Netherlands and takes you to the sun and mountains of the Mediterranean. Escher's love of travelling proved to be a determining factor in his artistic development. The sketches he made along the way were the inspiration for the masterpieces in which he manipulated reality years later. The exhibition ends with these iconic works that made Escher so famous and popular.

boundless creativity

Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898-1972) was born in the city palace of Leeuwarden, currently the home of the Princessehof National Museum of Ceramics. After his studies Escher travelled into the wide world. He moved to Italy, where he experienced happy and productive years. He went by donkey into the mountains to capture charming villages and characteristic views. When it got dark, he tied a torch to his buttonhole and sketched the sights of Rome by night. The prints from this period testify to Escher's fascination with striking perspectives and image compilations. After wandering through Switzerland and Belgium he eventually ended up in Baarn. There Escher incorporated his Mediterranean impressions into complex images and impossible worlds. At the end of Escher's journey, with such masterpieces as Belvedere (1958) and Metamorphosis II (1939-1940), he not only shows his technical skills and mathematical illusions: if you look closely, you will also detect his love for the Italian landscape.


escher comes home

Follow in the footsteps of Maurits Cornelis Escher! Make your own woodcut in the Escher Studio, a reconstruction of his workshop in Rome by art director Leo Zandvliet. Or create a selfie with the sphere in which the studio is reflected; a reference to the masterpiece Hand with Reflecting Sphere (1935).

To really walk into Escher's shoes, follow his journey with the audio tour. For years the artist reported on his adventures along the way in letters and diaries. In the audio tour Escher’s own words are voiced by director Peter Greenaway. The audio tour costs €1.50 and can be rented at the box office.

Want to get even closer to Escher? The exhibition includes De metamorfose van Escher (‘The Metamorphosis of Escher’), an interactive documentary by the NTR. Discover the intricacies of Escher's work and learn more about his technique and place in art history.

M.C. Escher’s “Day and Night” (1938) © the M.C. Escher Company B.V. All rights reserved.

Above: M.C. Escher’s “Day and Night” (1938) © the M.C. Escher Company B.V. All rights reserved. Click to see the full picture.

2018 = m.c. escher in the museum of friesland

In the year that Leeuwarden is the European Capital of Culture, the museum has dedicated itself to M.C. Escher. In addition to a large exhibition of his work, the Museum of Friesland presents the exhibition Phantom Limb: Art beyond Escher throughout the year. This exhibition shows impressive installations by contemporary national and international artists who, like Escher, put the visitor on the wrong foot and create a world in which nothing is what it seems. Moreover, the museum challenges people to become inspired by the world-famous graphic artist. The diverse projects can all be accessed at

The exhibition ‘Escher’s Journey’ is made possible by ING, the Blockbuster Fund, the Mondriaan Fund, the Municipality of Leeuwarden, St. Anthony Gasthuis, De Haan Advocaten & Notarissen, Leeuwarden-Fryslân European Capital of Culture 2018, Aegon, Fryslân Province and the BankGiro Lottery.

The Museum of Friesland is co-funded by the Ir. Abe Bonnema Foundation, the Province of Friesland, the Samenwerkingsverband Noord-Nederland, EZ/Kompas, the BankGiro Lottery and Aegon.


All M.C. Escher works © the M.C. Escher Company – Baarn-the Netherlands
M.C. Escher ® is a Registered Trademark. All rights reserved.

The exhibition Eschers journey is part of Leeuwarden-Fryslân European Capital of Culture 2018 and is supported by: