Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898-1972); Relativity (Relativteit);
Lot 12
Maurits Cornelis Escher
(1898-1972)
Relativity (Relativteit)
Sold for US$ 92,500 inc. premium

Lot Details
Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898-1972); Relativity (Relativteit); Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898-1972); Relativity (Relativteit);
Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898-1972)
Relativity (Relativteit) (L. 389), 1953
Lithograph on cream wove paper, signed in pencil and numbered 37/50, with full margins, framed.
10 7/8 x 11 1/4in (28.7 x 27.2cm)
sheet 15 3/8 x 15 3/4in (38.8 x 40cm)

Footnotes

  • This rare impression of M.C. Escher's most famous print comes from the collection of Robert and Wilcke Smith. Both commercial artists (Robert as a medical illustrator and Wilcke as a graphic designer for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune for a time) they recognized early on the exceptional quality of Escher's graphic works. In June 1959, Robert wrote to Escher in his home in Baarn, Netherlands, to tell him he would be "extremely proud to own" two of Escher's prints, Light and Water I , 1938 and Relativity, 1953. In July 1959, the artist sent Smith a hand-signed letter informing him that each print was $20.00 and he could send Smith the two prints by airmail for an additional charge of $2.00. Copies of this remarkable correspondence are shown, along with Robert Smith's canceled check to the artist for $42.00, initialed in pen by Escher on the back. The prints were displayed in the Smiths' home in Albuquerque, New Mexico until their subsequent deaths (Robert Smith in 2007 and Wilcke Smith in 2015).


    "Relativity" is one of Escher's most popular examples of his "impossible constructions" where faceless inhabitants ascend and descend seven stairways, apparently oblivious to the scientific impossibility of their activities.
Activities
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