Metamorphosis II

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Metamorphosis II is a woodcut print by the Dutch artist M. C. Escher. It was created between November, 1939 and March, 1940. This print measures and was printed from 20 blocks on 3 combined sheets.

Like Metamorphosis I, the concept of this piece is to morph one image into a tessellated pattern and then slowly alter that pattern eventually to become a new image.

The process begins left to right with the word metamorphose (the Dutch form of the word metamorphosis) in a black rectangle, followed by several smaller metamorphose rectangles forming a grid pattern. This grid then becomes a black and white checkered pattern which then becomes tessellations of reptiles, a honeycomb, insects, fish, birds and a pattern of three dimensional blocks with red tops.

These blocks then become the architecture of the Italian coastal town of Atrani (see Atrani, Coast of Amalfi). In this image Atrani is linked by a bridge to a tower in the water which is actually a rook piece from a chess set. There are other chess pieces in the water and the water becomes a chess board. The chess board leads to a checkered wall which then returns to the word metamorphose.

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