- Ascending and Descending
title=Ascending and Descending
artist=M. C. Escher
The original print measures 14" x 11 1/4”. The lithograph depicts a large building roofed by a never-ending
staircase. Two lines of identically dressed men appear on the staircase, one line ascending whilst the other descends. Two figures sit apart from the people on the endless staircase: one in a secluded courtyard, the other on a lower set of stairs. While most two-dimensional artists use relative proportions to create an illusion of depth, Escher here and elsewhere uses conflicting proportions to create the visual paradox.
"Ascending and Descending" was influenced by, and is an artistic implementation of, the
Penrose stairs, an impossible object; Lionel Penrosehad first published his concept in the February, 1958issue of the " British Journal of Psychology". Escher developed the theme further in his print "Waterfall", which appeared in 1961.
References in popular culture
* In The Simpsons episode
Treehouse of Horror IV, Homer is seen chasing Bart up the impossible stairs of the lithograph.
* In the game , the final level of the Dream Realm, known as the "Maze of Illusion", has an impossible staircase near the beginning, similar to this lithograph.
* In the French comic "Game Over" (spin off of "
Kid Paddle"), the hero follows a staircase which appears similar to the staircase in this lithograph.
* In a
Xiaolin Showdown, Omi and Dashi run up the everlasting staircase.
* In the movie, The Avengers, there is an impossible staircase.
* In the
Nintendo 64game Super Mario 64, an impossible staircase is featured towards the final stage.
* [http://www.voidgamers.com/channel/HirstArts/HADD7/b.356.r.386.html Ascending and Descending] A 3D forced perspective model was built as part of a kit building contest
*Locher, J.L. (2000). "The Magic of M. C. Escher".
Harry N. Abrams, Inc.ISBN 0-8109-6720-0.
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