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Escher on Escher Ribbons

Escher on Escher - 1 Four Hobbies Ribbonsmathserver.neu.edu/~eigen/1220DIR/EscherArticles/Escher on Escher... · Escher applied the same Mathematical curve to this. Moebius Strips

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Text of Escher on Escher - 1 Four Hobbies Ribbonsmathserver.neu.edu/~eigen/1220DIR/EscherArticles/Escher on...

Escher on EscherRibbons


Curved ribbons or strips are suited to suggest a three dimensionality


a spiraling ribbon, like an orange peel,portrays a fragmentary head of a woman.

It floats through space as a hollowsculpture.

The illusion of depth is accentuated bymeans of a cloud cover receding towardan invisible horizon.

Rind 1955

Wood engraving


3 Blocks

Bond of Union

Here, two spirals, portraying a womans and amans head, are united in one endless strip.

With their foreheads even hooked to eachother, they form together an indissolublebond of union.

Spheres, floating in front, between, and behindthe folds of the empty heads, should suggestinfinite space and time.

Bond of Union 1956 Lithograph

Ribbons - afternote

Escher explained that the initial impetus camefrom H.G. Wells novel the Invisible Man.

the invisibility being rather inconvenient,he wants to get visible again and swathes hisface with a bandage

Sphere Spirals, 1958, Printed from 4 Blocks Woodcut, Grey, Black, Yellow, Pink

Quote on Sphere Spirals

a system of four theoretically never-ending ribbons, running over thesurface of a sphere, link up its twopoles. Both poles are visible, oneexternally and the other internally,through the open interspace betweenthe two ribbons

Math remark on Sphere Spirals

The Sphere is meant to be invertible.That is if it were turned over, it wouldshow the same path.

A spherical spiral is a curve a shipwould travel from the south pole to thenorth pole. Theoretically, the pathwould become infinite at the poles.

Sphere Surface with fish, 1958

Escher applied the sameMathematical curve tothis

Moebius Strips

A Moebius strip - is a one-sided pieceof paper

Escher considered the following two aspart of his ribbon themed work.

Moebius Strip I 1961

Wood Engraving and Woodcut

Red, green gold, black

Printed from 4 blocks.

folded three times and presented as if it were in cut in two parts with a pair of scissors over the whole length.

Moebius Strip II 1963

Woodcut in red, blackand grey-green

Printed from 3 blocks

red ants walking ina continuous file


I think I have never yet done any workwith the aim of symbolizing a particularidea, but the fact that a symbol issometimes discovered is remarkedupon is valuable for me because itmakes it easier to accept theinceplicable nature of my hobbies,which constantly preoccupy me.