Day and Night (1938) by Maurits Cornelis Escher

Day and Night - Maurits Cornelis Escher - 1938

Artwork Information

TitleDay and Night
ArtistMaurits Cornelis Escher
MediumWoodcut in black and gray, printed from two blocks
Dimensions39.1 x 67.7 cm (15 3/8 x 26 5/8 in.)
Art MovementOp Art
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About Day and Night

Maurits Cornelis Escher, a Dutch artist and printmaker who lived from 1898 to 1972, created “Day and Night,” a woodcut print in 1938. The artwork portrays a mirrored landscape with two cities, rivers, and a pattern of birds gradually appearing towards the top, creating a tessellation. Escher made over 650 copies of this popular print during his lifetime.

Escher’s artwork is often characterized by mathematical objects and operations that evoke reflection, symmetry, and impossible perspectives. “Day and Night” is no exception as it features symmetrical opposites naturally transitioned throughout the entire picture. The contrast in tone between day and night creates an illusion of space within the black-and-white image that captivates viewers.

Escher masterfully executed this artwork’s intricate details with precision in every line he drew on the woodblock to create each copy of his prints by hand. His unique artistic style continuously influenced modern graphic design today.

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