Eye (1946) by Maurits Cornelis Escher

Eye - Maurits Cornelis Escher - 1946

Artwork Information

ArtistMaurits Cornelis Escher
Dimensions31.9 x 31.7 cm (12 1/2 x 12 1/2 in.)
Art MovementSurrealism
Current LocationCordon Art-Baarn, the Netherlands

About Eye

The artwork titled “Eye” is a masterful creation by the distinguished artist Maurits Cornelis Escher from the year 1946. It belongs to the Surrealism movement and serves as a symbolic painting that possesses dimensions of 31.9 by 31.7 cm. Currently, this artwork is housed at Cordon Art-Baarn in the Netherlands, underlining its cultural and artistic significance.

The artwork exhibits an extreme close-up of a human eye, rendered with meticulous detail that captures the very essence of realism. However, within the pupil, Escher has embedded a stark and haunting reflection of a skull. This juxtaposition of life, as represented by the eye, and death, as signified by the skull, invokes a surrealist exploration of profound themes such as mortality, perception, and the unknown.

Escher’s skill in portraying textures is evident in the realistic depiction of the eyelashes and the soft skin surrounding the eye. The iris and the reflected light enhance the depth and intensity of the gaze. Meanwhile, the presence of the skull—a universal symbol of death—invites introspection on the transience of life and the inevitability of mortality. As a piece of surrealism, the artwork defies simple interpretation, leaving much to the imagination and personal reflection of the observer. The tones used in the work are predominantly monochromatic, which adds to the dramatic and somber mood of the composition.

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