Ascending and Descending (1960) by Maurits Cornelis Escher

Ascending and Descending - Escher, Maurits Cornelis - 1960

Artwork Information

TitleAscending and Descending
ArtistMaurits Cornelis Escher
Dimensions35.5 x 28.5 cm (14 x 11 1/4 in.)

About Ascending and Descending

Ascending and Descending is a lithograph print that was created by the Dutch artist M.C. Escher in 1960. The artwork depicts a never-ending staircase on a large building, which is part of Escher’s ‘impossible constructions’ series. One of the most recognizable pieces by Escher, Ascending and Descending draws inspiration from projective and non-Euclidean geometries to explore the logic of space.

Escher is widely known for his mathematically-inspired woodcuts, lithographs, and mezzotints that feature impossible objects, explorations of infinity, reflection, symmetry, and perspective. His works have been hailed as technological feats as he has uniquely captured both art and scientific perspectives in his artistry.

In Ascending and Descending work specifically uses paradoxical perspectives to create an enigmatic piece of art. The building appears to have no beginning or end creating an optical illusion prolonging forever with no visual distinction between commencement or conclusion while also retaining its brilliance even with continuous observation over time.

As one delves deeper into the Ascending and Descending piece by Escher it becomes quite clear why this specific work remains consistently relevant since it’s creation in 1960; along with other timeless classics by M.C. Escher like Waterfall (1961), Relativity (1953), Drawing Hands (1948) amongst many others – undoubtedly showcasing the uniqueness that defines M.C Escher’s artistic ability while continuing to teach future generations valuable lessons about perception through artistry regardless if you are an aspiring artist or an avid viewer.

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