|Artist||M. C. Escher|
|Dimensions||33.4 cm × 38.5 cm (13.1 in × 15.2 in)|
Reptiles depicts a desk upon which is a two dimensional drawing of a tessellated pattern of reptiles and hexagons, Escher's 1939 Regular Division of the Plane. The reptiles at one edge of the drawing emerge into three dimensional reality, come to life and appear to crawl over a series of symbolic objects (a book on nature, a geometer's triangle, a three dimensional dodecahedron, a pewter bowl containing a box of matches and a box of cigarettes) to eventually re-enter the drawing at its opposite edge. Other objects on the desk are a potted cactus and yucca, a ceramic flask with a cork stopper next to a small glass of liquid, a book of JOB cigarette rolling papers, and an open handwritten note book of many pages. Although only the size of small lizards, the reptiles have protruding crocodile-like fangs, and the one atop the dodecahedron has a dragon-like puff of smoke billowing from its nostrils.
The critic Steven Poole commented that one of Escher's "enduring fascinations" was "the contrast between the two-dimensional flatness of a sheet of paper and the illusion of three-dimensional volume that can be created with certain marks" when space and flatness exist side by side and are "each born from and returning to the other, the black magic of the artistic illusion made creepily manifest."
In popular culture
- "Reptiles in Wartime". Escher in het Paleis. 3 March 2018.
- Locher 1971, pp. 8, 15, 18, cf. also 78, 83, 85, 89.
- Locher 2006, p. 74.
- Poole, Steven (20 June 2015). "The impossible world of MC Escher". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
- Coulthart, John (2013-02-07). "MC Escher album covers". Archived from the original on 17 February 2013. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
- Locher, J. L. (1971). The World of M. C. Escher. Abrams. ISBN 978-0-451-79961-6.
- Locher, J. L. (2006). The Magic of M. C. Escher. Thames and Hudson. ISBN 978-0500512890.
- Decoration with Escher Lizard by William Chow.