Molón Museum: M.C. Escher in a palace
Yes M.C. Escher I would have had a palace in life, it would probably be full of stairs that go nowhere, fountains that emanate water upside down and friezes full of animals that transform into others. Thank God, the architectural and spatial delusions of his work have no reflection on reality ... or if?
Hague It is a Royal and governmental city so it is not surprising that its most attractive museum is inside a palace like this. In fact, it is normal to condition stately buildings with this effect. What does collide from the beginning is that it is a space dedicated to M.C. Escher, this artist so personal, so funny, so delusional and so daring. One of those creators who are a genre in themselves and whose work has to be exhibited separately. It doesn't look like anyone nor obey the canons of any style.
But Lange Voorhout Palace It has a very real past, very pompous and paraphernalic. It was during the twentieth century the place of work of the kings of Holland and the place from where the golden carriage departed at each celebration of the opening act of the parliamentary year. It's true that it doesn't seem so important on the outside, only its majesty and size make it clear that important decisions were made here. Then there is that little golden balcony that brings the visitor a little closer to its old use. And in all of the country the greetings of the royal family from this point are very famous. But now the posters announcing what is hidden inside makes him lose that official look of yesteryear.
One of the exhibition halls of the palace © Museo M.C. Escher
But what do Emma or Beatriz queens have to do with the Escher museum? Well, a little, because its interior halls have been transformed to host their work, but in a very palatial way. They surprise those floors of noble brightness but minimalist themes and, above all, the impressive ceiling lamps. His designs belong to the local artist Hans van Betem and they seem to accompany the visitor in that trip that is made from the Real, the real and the Escherian since they are inspired both in the building and in the subworlds of the artist. And to all this, the walls are papered with large elongated friezes with the metamorphosis-works of this author, with the hyperrealist landscapes of his early years, with the lithographs with which he made a name in the early twentieth century.
Esmor's Metamorphosis © Museo M.C. Escher
Little by little, the artistic route deforms until it reaches its most famous works, with its recognizable impossible architectures and mathematical games. With the works he painted clearly influenced by his trips to the Alhambra, from where he returned fascinated by Andalusian art: poor in materials and excessively rich in decoration. Escher's work is an accessible, fun, easy to understand and unimportant art. It is what it is, and maybe that's why it's a cool museum, a museum for all ages. But beware, always from respect and from the informative intention of Escher's work. It seems to say: “Enjoy it and immerse yourself in impossible spaces, but also try to understand it”.
And when you get to the second floor everything seen before you try to make it happen. It is when the line between museum and amusement park narrows like never before that the visitor interact with the works. To enter directly into one of its spaces such as Escher's hilarious room (mandatory photo) and its distorting perspectives. Or as in the optical art room where everything is illusion, or in other spaces where the lines play the mistake to confuse and play. Of course, you have to thank the museum for not building any of those stairs that go nowhere or those infinite paths from which it is impossible to escape. When leaving, reality hits one more time, and that is appreciated.
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- All articles by Javier Zori del Amo
The Escher staircase © Museo M.C. Escher