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Plane Filling I

A work made of mezzotint in black on cream laid paper.
© The M.C. Escher Company B.V.

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  • A work made of mezzotint in black on cream laid paper.


March 1951


Maurits Cornelis Escher
Dutch, 1898-1972

About this artwork

M.C. Escher became interested in mezzotint due to its tonal range, and printed eight editions in the medium between 1946 and 1951. Like many of Escher’s perceptually dizzying but impeccably calculated images, this black-and-white composition of interlocking fish, fowl, primitive nudes, and mythical beasts can be read in several ways. Its light and dark contrasts form an overall geometrical pattern, like a chessboard run amok, or a jigsaw puzzle writhing with mutating pieces. The creatures may not be far removed from Hieronymus Bosch’s Renaissance-era views of the underworld, but Escher’s claustrophobic, patterned landscape is also full of delight.


Currently Off View


Prints and Drawings


Maurits Cornelis Escher


Plane Filling I


Netherlands (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Mezzotint in black on cream laid paper


Image/plate: 15.2 × 20.2 cm (6 × 8 in.); Sheet: 23.9 × 31.7 cm (9 7/16 × 12 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of the R. J. Frisby Family

Reference Number



© The M.C. Escher Company B.V.

Extended information about this artwork

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