Wow HF, I just now saw this, and can't believe I missed it earlier - I must have gotten too busy over the holiday season or something.
I agree - I like the photos much better - but they post-date him, so they'd better be better, right? I've never seen that particular print of his before - I do think its missing some of the elegance of his other work. When it comes to Escher, I gravitate more towards the "Greatest Hits" spectrum for some reason - perhaps because so much of it is seems inspired by a kind of mathematical passion rather than anything sentimental - again, that elegance in most of his work is so inviting and somehow replenishing. The things I can stare at for hours are his famous decorative prints like "Sky and Water I and II" where birds in flight morph into fish:
I also love any one of his "Impossible worlds":
I was fortunate once to see some of his prints up close at the L.A. County museum, and was blown away by the detail, the sheer man hours that had to have gone into each piece - I realize that some artists are masters at creating art with a few quick gestures, like Picasso was in his later years, for instance. But there's something about looking at a piece that you know took someone hours and days and in some cases years even to complete - it seems to give a strange glimpse into the eternal time an artist willingly enters and obviously forgets himself in. And then, there it is right in front of you! A kind of tombstone erected to the time devoted to the creation of the work, a map or record of the artist's imaginative journey that's now sealed and never again to be entered - not by the casual observer, anyway. I think that's the magic Escher captured - the ability to draw the viewer in to marvel with a hint of the same fascination/obsession he must have felt drawing it.
It's interesting to see how influenced he was by the tile work in the Alhambra -
he's absolutely in love with it:
Of all of his work, this is the one I'd be most likely to want to look at every day, I think - the quality of the print isn't too great here. In person though, it's just incredible, mesmerizing: