This year we are celebrating 125 years since the birth of artist Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898-1972), with events, activities and buildings dressed in Escher style throughout the city, and with all residents. One of the highlights is the Megamorphosis, a giant piece of art inspired by Escher’s Metamorphoses. Hundreds of schoolkids from all over The Hague have worked on this co-creation, which will be shown in the Atrium from June 21 to July 17.

This huge project celebrates not only 125 years of Escher, but also the connection between this extraordinary artist and The Hague. The foremost example of this connection is his Metamorphosis III, which was unveiled at the old post office on Kerkplein in 1969. M.C. Escher was commissioned by the PTT (the Dutch post office) to make an extended version of his already famous print Metamorphosis II in 1967, forthe walls of its headquarters in The Hague. The 48-metre artwork now hangs at Schiphol Airport, but the memory of the impressive mural remains deeply rooted in the memories of many Hague residents.

Escher (second to the left) during the official presentation of Metamorphosis III on 20 February 1969 in The Hague.
Escher (second to the left) during the official presentation of Metamorphosis III on 20 February 1969 in The Hague.

Connection is also a key concept in the work of Escher, and particularly his Metamorphosis III, not only because all the elements are connected in this giant print, but also because Escher creates a connection with the viewer, teaching us how to look. His prints featuring optical illusions and infinity induce us to think outside existing frameworks, as together we celebrate the power of imagination.

During this school year no fewer than 700 Hague schoolkids have visited Escher in The Palace to see the work of M.C. Escher, as the latest generation of Hague residents gets to know Escher’s optical illusions and endless metamorphoses. The children have worked together on a new Metamorphosis inspired by M.C. Escher and each other, connecting in the process with each other and with the worlds they all presented. The resulting Megamorphosis is a gift to Escher and to the city!

Inside the exhibit there is a visual report on the children’s making process, as well as some quotes describing what the project meant to them. We also show other places in The Hague where M.C. Escher left his mark during the 20th century.

Metamorphosis III at Escher in Het Paleis. Photo: Fred Ernst.Metamorphosis III at Escher in Het Paleis. Photo: Fred Ernst.

The Hague, City of Escher
Birds that become fish, water that flows uphill, two hands drawing each other: with skill, M.C. Escher would transform a blank sheet of paper into his own infinite worlds where he would play with his viewers’ perception. His masterful metamorphoses and tessellations continue to amaze and inspire people all over the world. With exhibitions at Kunstmuseum Den Haag and Escher in the Palace, plus a host of activities in the city organised in collaboration with cultural partners, schools, local communities and companies, in 2023 The Hague truly is the City of Escher. Come an enjoy the world of M.C. Escher too. Visit Escher – Other World at Kunstmuseum Den Haag and The Man Who Discovered Escher: Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita at Escher in The Palace. The Hague really is the City of Escher in 2023.