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M.C. Escher: His Life and Complete Graphic Work (With a Fully Illustrated Catalogue) Hardcover – September 1, 1992

4.9 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, Dutch (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 349 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (September 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810981130
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810981133
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 1.2 x 12 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,585 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Illustrated are 448 (of the 449) original woodcuts, wood engravings, lithographs, linocuts and mezzotints by Maurits Cornelis Escher. An attractive volume, it virtually constitutes a catalogue raisonne. Each print is illustrated in minimum quarter-page format, with size, medium and date provided. Introductory chapters provide biographical and autobiographical information. In addition, the only book that the artist wrote, REGELMATIGE VLAKVERDELING (THE REGULAR DIVISION OF THE PLANE), which was published in 1957 in a very limited edition by a Dutch bibliophile society, is translated and illustrated in full. As owner of and dealer in the main body of Escher's original prints, drawings and watercolors, which were previously on loan to the Hague Museum, I make extensive use of this book and commend it to all. Published by Abradale at less than half the price of the out-of-print Abrams edition, but identical to it except for a different dust jacket, it provides good value, and is certainly less expensive than the signed original prints themselves, which cost more than ten thousand dollars each.
The other key books on Escher are VISIONS OF SYMMETRY; THE MAGIC MIRROR OF M.C. ESCHER; and THE GRAPHIC WORK OF M.C. ESCHER.
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By A Customer on December 20, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is the total collection of every work done by M.C. Esher. This book is perfect for a serious fan of the graphic work of M.C. Esher. The book also gives biographical information as well as in depth information on many of his works.
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Format: Hardcover
And c'mon - if you've seen his work, you're a fan.

The great thing about this book is not just the extensive and readable biography, but the complete (so they say) catalog of his graphic works. Even people very familiar with Escher's ouvre will be surprised by some of the entries here. They go back to work he did at ages 18 and 19, and show the devleopment of the Escher that has become so famous. It's just a little disappointing that the catalog is printed only in black and white, when so many of his works used color. The catalog reproductions are just that - a listing of his work, not a gallery, so the quarter-page size of most pieces is adequate for recognizing a piece, if not for appreciating it fully.

It is fascinating to see Escher's style develop though his (and the twentieth century's) twenties. Various influences early on suggest Beardsley (cat. 49, 67), Picasso (cat. 51, 58), or the pervasive Art Deco of his time (cat.34). Even then, some of Escher's later fascinations begin to emerge, including hands and reflective balls (cat. 88 and 80), symmetries and tilings (cat. 61, 65), and complex interactions of many figures in a repeating structure (cat. 90). The lesser-known parts of his work also start to emerge by the time he's 30, including delicate lithographs (cat. 129, 132). As much as I love his visual paradoxes and flirtation with the infinite, the lithos and mezzotints are the pieces that truly move me. "Snow" and "Blowball" (cat. 278 and 330) have an eloquent simplicity. "Eye" and "Drop" (cat. 344 and 356) demonstrate his classical sense and his perseverance with the demanding medium of mezzotint.

The text is also thorough and enjoyable - a good thing, since it takes up half of this heavy book, including its own set of illustrations.
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Format: Hardcover
M.C. Escher was a true genius. This book has every print he has ever done. Along with a comprehensive history and a lot of his writings, this book gives you the best insight to a mathematical genius who barely passed math in school.
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Format: Hardcover
Definitely the first book every Escher fan should purchase. It's helpful in getting to know about the man himself as well as his brilliant artwork. It may seem pricey, but it's totally worth it, being hardcover (at least the one I got), and high quality photos of his work. It also shows his lesser known works (ones never released apparently), as well as photos of himself and his family. A very informative read and a quality edition.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book is a comprehensive review of Escher and his art. I was disappointed with the small size of some of the displayed art work. I expected full page plates; small pictures make it difficult to see the details of the work.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is just amazing. Anyone that is interested in M.C. Escher, must have this book. All of his work from his beginnings, to the end. Most of the works are explained by Escher. This is just a fantastic book. Also, a great coffee table book. You will get many comments from people when they pick it up.
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Format: Hardcover
I had hinted around long enough that I wanted this for my birthday, and I finally got it!

M.C. Escher, as everyone knows, finds millions of new devotees, even copy-cats, with each new generation. His intriguing and fascinating work has influenced and inspired, and has been enjoyed and admired by, people worldwide, crossing cultures and age groups. There's no point in elaborating on (or belaboring) that issue.

What is at issue is this book. It is a complete compilation, and the catalogue is invaluable for the collector (or would-be collector, in my case). Most of the text may not be new to anyone who has studied Escher's works and life. Still, surprises and insights abounded. The binding is sturdy. But most importantly, the quality, clarity and high resolution of the illustrations are better than any others that I have seen. To me, it is the next best to having an original Escher hanging on your wall. I have only had this book for a week and I can barely tear myself away from it. Happy birthday to me.
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