MC Escher book covers


1963. Art: Other World (1947).

MC Escher’s prints have been touring the UK this year: a few months ago they were in Scotland, this month they can be seen at the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London. The renewed attention prompted the BBC to produce a documentary, The Art of the Impossible: MC Escher and Me, in collaboration with Professor Roger Penrose. One of the programme researchers saw my earlier post about the use of Escher’s work on album covers, and asked if I wanted to appear on camera talking about this, something I politely refused to do. I’m happy to hold forth from a keyboard, however, so here’s a post about some of the books that have used Esher’s work to decorate their covers. Most of these are fiction but there must be many more non-fiction titles—especially in the fields of science and mathematics—that borrow Escher’s prints.


The first edition of Calvino’s comic stories from 1965.


Art: Relativity (1953).

Not a book but editor Michael Moorcock has claimed that this was the first UK magazine to print any of Escher’s work.


1970. Art: Stars (1948).


From 1971, Pauwels & Bergier’s celebrated collection of Forteana, weird fiction, occultism and historical speculation, The Morning of the Magicians. See this post for more covers.


1971. Art: Tetrahedral Planetoid (1954).


1976. Art: Day and Night (1938).


1996. Art: Circle Limit IV (1960).


1998. Art: Three Spheres I (1945).




From 2003, a variation on Rind (1955). See below.


2004. Art: Other World (1947).

A series of Borges reprints by Penguin makes good use of Escher’s work, Borges and Calvino having many affinities with the artist’s mental games. A shame, then, that these editions use the translations I like the least.


2004. Art: Snakes (1969).


2005: Art: Rind (1955).


2007. Art: Butterflies (1950).

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The book covers archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Escher’s snakes
The Fantastic World of MC Escher
MC Escher album covers
Escher and Schrofer

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