The Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher is best remembered today for his hypnotic, geometrically impossible architectural inventions, but not so many are aware of his love for travelling in Italy, and in particular Abruzzo. It was the archaic wilder spaces, which Abruzzo has in such in splendid abundance, that inspired Escher, resonating with his mathematical mind and his lithographic style.
Escher criss-crossed Abruzzo with a donkey and horse for company on several occasions during the late 1920s & early 1930s, and his travels among Abruzzo’s small towns and landscapes inspired some of his earliest, and arguably finest artistic work. Despite now being in famous museum collections round the world, there are still many today who recognise the images but not the artist’s name, let alone the region or name of Abruzzo.
What many admire in Escher’s depictions of Abruzzo is his ability to imbue the pictures with a serenity that somehow complements the often contorted isolation and sheer contours of the scene. His work superbly illustrates how the journey itself is as important as the end destination. Try visiting any of the villages today and follow a path to see how little has changed in the 100 years since he visited.
Chasing Escher in Abruzzo Map
A trail showing each of the small mountain and hilltop towns and villages he depicted or whose vistas he drew.