Castrovalva is a lithograph print created by Maurits Cornelis Escher in February 1930. The work features the Italian village of Castrovalva, perched on a steep slope. This image is part of Escher’s collection from his travels in Italy from 1923 to 1935, where he drew inspiration from the towns, landscapes, and architecture he encountered.
Escher was known for his ornamental prints and impossible architecture, as well as his interest in impossible shapes and landscapes that challenge traditional notions of perspective. Castrovalva is an example of this, as Escher plays with the viewer’s sense of near and far, or high and low, using the unique vantage point of the village perched on the slope.
Over his lifetime, Escher created 448 lithographs, woodcuts, and wood engravings, as well as over 2000 drawings and sketches. His work reflects his interest in mathematics and his desire to create fantastical worlds within his pieces. Castrovalva stands as a testament to Escher’s groundbreaking approach to composition and perspective in the visual arts.