Drawing Hands

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Drawing Hands
ArtistM. C. Escher
Year1948 (1948)
Dimensions28.2 cm × 33.2 cm (11.1 in × 13.1 in)
Preceded byUp and Down (1947)
Followed byDewdrop (1948)
WebsiteOfficial webpage

Drawing Hands is a lithograph by the Dutch artist M. C. Escher first printed in January 1948. It depicts a sheet of paper out of which, from wrists that remain flat on the page, two hands rise, facing each other and in the paradoxical act of drawing one another into existence. Although Escher used paradoxes in his works often, this is one of the most obvious examples.

It is referenced in the book Gödel, Escher, Bach, by Douglas Hofstadter, who calls it an example of a strange loop. It is also used in Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs by Harold Abelson and Gerald Jay Sussman as an allegory for the eval and apply functions of programming language interpreters in computer science, which feed each other.

Drawing Hands has been referenced and copied many times by artists in different ways. One common tribute in tech culture is to draw robot hands drawing or building each other[1] or a human hand and robot hand drawing each other.[2] In geek culture and in the transhumanist community in particular, robotic renditions of Drawing Hands are occasionally produced.[3]


  1. ^ hygglobert (21 June 2011). Escher Robot Hands. Escher Remastered. FreakingNews (Digital illustration). Archived from the original on 28 May 2018. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  2. ^ Rockhill, W. Morgan. Digital Photographic recreation of M. C. Escher drawing, robotic hands. Concept Photography (Photograph). Morgan Rockhill PhotoDigital. Archived from the original on 28 May 2018. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  3. ^ Willis, Shane (12 October 2007). Hand Fixing Hand. Photo.net (Photograph). Archived from the original on 14 November 2016. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
    "'Hand Fixing Hand', A Futuristic Take On M.C. Escher's Iconic 'Drawing Hands'". Geekologie. Anticlown Media. 1 November 2012. Archived from the original on 28 May 2018. Retrieved 28 May 2018.