The Waterfall

The Waterfall
Artist M.C. Escher
Year 1961
Medium lithograph
Dimensions 15 in × 12 in
38 cm × 30 cm
M.C. Escher Famous Paintings
The Waterfall, 1961
Relativity, 1953
Ascending and Descending, 1960
Drawing Hands, 1948
Sky and Water I, 1938
Three Worlds, 1955
House of Stairs, 1951
Belvedere, 1958
Another World, 1947
Complete Works

The Waterfall by M.C. Escher is a famous litograph print that features a paradoxical element. This litograph was a masterpiece of the Dutch artist, Mauritz Cornelis Escher, which he created in 1961. The water found on the base of the waterfall seems to run downhill, which is along the water’s path before it reaches the top part of the waterfall. Although several two-dimensional artists during that era used relative proportions in creating depth in most images, Escher chose to use conflicting and extraordinary proportions for a paradoxical image.

Features and Perplexing Elements

This 1961 litograph represents a small city or village set in a high aqueduct, and features the waterwheel as the central image. The aqueduct’s walls step downward, and this figure makes it appear as though it is sloping downhill. Furthermore, the aqueduct seems to turn thrice – once to the left, twice straight ahead, and thrice towards the left.

Based on Escher’s idea of the picture, some water should be added periodically to the perpetual motion machine, so it could compensate for the process of evaporation. Moreover, the two solid towers that support the structure are topped by two polyhedra. To a typical observer, the painting may appear as though everything is in perfect place. However, you will discover that there are strange elements in it as the water seems to flow uphill, which is a rather confusing element of this litograph.

Further Details

Escher describes his litograph as an image that represents an illusion that is an ever-present element in the real world. After all, almost every paintings, drawings, and artistic photographs depict an illusion that our senses may perceive. In addition, the Waterfall by Escher is based on the brilliant concept of the Impossible Triangle by Roger Penrose, a British physicist and mathematician. The artist has decided to incorporate two of Penrose’s tribars, as these components are known in Escher’s masterpiece.

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