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Artist: M.C Escher
Created: 1946
Dimensions (cm): 31.7 x 31.9
Format: Mezzotint and drypoint
Location: National Gallery of Art, Washington, USA

Eye is an excellent example of the technique referred to as globular reflection. This means that when Escher drew this sketch he drew it from looking at it in a reflection. In this case the eye, his own as a matter of fact was drawn from its reflection in a concave shaving glass. He says that he tried to “copy it as faithfully as possible.” Escher felt it was “necessary and logical to convey somebody, an observer reflected in the convex mirror of the eye” and so he decided to draw a skull because again in his own words, “we are all confronted with death whether we like it or not”.

Some other examples of Escher work done with reflections includes: Hand with Reflecting Sphere and Three Spheres. In these drawings Escher draws his whole upper body as he can see himself reflected in the ball.

Escher worked as a graphic artist for decades with his innovative style being recognized by only a small inner circle of people, mostly other artists. He was discovered relatively late in his life. 1952 was his breakthrough year and he was already fifty three years old.

Escher preferred being referred to as a graphic artist than as an artist because he believed that graphic art was a very particular form and style that required much work, technique and discipline. One of the distinctive characteristics of graphic artists such as Escher is that they work primarily in black and white and the various shadings in between. Among other things, Eye is an example of this style.


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