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Drawing hands

Graphics, 1948, 28.2×33.2 cm

Description of the artwork «Drawing hands»

When it comes to the work of Escher Mauritz, the first association in a person who is not alien to modern art is a painting titled “Drawing hands". This lithograph became the visiting card of the master who created many amazing images in the style of imp art (from “impossible art” - the image of spatial objects and figures that violate the laws of geometry). We offer you to get acquainted with the description of the painting by Escher Maurits "Drawing hands", created in 1948.

On a small piece of paper, which serves as a kind of canvas, primed with gray "noise", the viewer sees an unusual image. A white sheet is attached to the “canvas” - its edges are slightly bent, casting a shadow, which makes this sheet very realistic. The outlines of the cuffs of the shirt fastened on a rectangular cufflink appear from the right and left edges of the sheet. The cuffs are drawn with a few light strokes so that it is clearly visible that this is nothing more than a drawing. And then the real magic begins ...

From each of the cuffs of the shirt, painted in the painting of Asher Maurits “Drawing hands”, wrists appear. Depicted at first by a thin, barely visible contour, then they materialize, becoming voluminous: the artist carefully draws the veins protruding under the skin, folds on the folds of the fingers, the play of light and shadow. Hands go beyond the boundaries of a white sheet and live their own life: a pencil is clamped in each of them, and one hand draws the other while being an image created by his counterpart.

On closer examination, it can be noted that the painting “Drawing Hands” by Escher Maurits is not a mirror image of the same drawing, as it may seem at first glance. We see one hand from the side of the pencil and we can examine the cufflink on the shirt cuff, but from the fingers in front of our eyes remain large and index. The second hand is depicted in such a way that it covers the cuff “drawn” by it, leaving us room for imagination: is there a button or a button? The pencil is almost hidden by a brush: we can see only its sharply sharpened tip and the upper part. Asher drew this hand from the opposite angle, detailing four fingers visible to the viewer.

Art critics have many questions for this work, the answers to which are unlikely to ever be received. What did the artist want to say when drawing this recursion? Did it appear as a result of his reflections on the role of God and man in creating each other? Or, perhaps, the idea of this drawing came to Escher after his acquaintance with the famous pencil sketch of authorship da vinciwhich depicts two women's hands - the same live and real?

Connoisseurs of the creativity of the Dutch genius graphics still break their spears, trying to find the truth in the debate. Meanwhile, Escher Mauritz's painting “Drawing Hands” takes its place in the Exher Museum exhibition in The Hague, where 130 of his works are kept, and continues to excite collectors with its inaccessibility. In 2001, this work received an approximate estimated cost (estimate) of 45-55 thousand dollars from the auction house of Christie's, but it was not put up for auction.
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About the artwork

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Art form: Graphics

Subject and objects: Allegorical scene

Style of art: Surrealism

Technique: Lithography

Date of creation: 1948

Size: 28.2×33.2 cm

Artwork in selections: 8 selections

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