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Help us Acquire
M. C. Escher’s Day and Night

The National Gallery of Victoria has an exciting opportunity to acquire Day and night 1938 by Dutch artist M. C. Escher for future generations to enjoy.

Day and night is one of Escher’s most iconic images and demonstrates his ingenious ability to play with form and illusion. The print shows both day and night breaking over a Dutch landscape of mirrored towns and waterways, as flocks of black and white birds cross flight paths, each gradually emerging from the changing shapes of the other. The birds also evolve out of the diamond-shaped fields of the landscape below in a remarkable feat of transformation and imagination. Day and night is a classic demonstration of Escher’s ability to create inventive compositions full of complexity and illusion.

Since the opening of Escher X nendo | Between Two Worlds in December 2018, thousands of visitors have revelled in the works of Escher, experiencing his remarkable world of spatial illusion as interpreted by acclaimed Japanese design studio nendo. Day and night is an important acquisition for the NGV Collection and will be the first Escher print for the Gallery. With your support, we can share Escher’s legacy with Victorians and visitors for generations to come.

The Gallery’s holdings of prints and drawings is one of the great strengths of the NGV Collection and it will be significantly enhanced by the addition of this important work.


We warmly thank you for supporting this appeal and welcome donations of any amount to help make this acquisition possible. All donations of $2 and more are tax deductible. By making a tax deductible donation of $2500, supporters of the acquisition will join the NGV’s Annual Giving program.

If you are interested in making a significant gift, please contact Misha Agzarian, Associate Director, Fundraising, on 03 8620 2392 or [email protected]


Make your donation online via the NGV website.
Donate now

Bank Deposit

Bank Westpac Banking Corporation
Account Name Council of Trustees of the National Gallery of Victoria – Donations
BSB 033 009

Account Number 621 445

Please quote ESCHER and your surname on the electronic transfer and provide your details either by email ([email protected]) or by phoning the NGV Foundation (03 8620 2415) so that we can acknowledge your donation.


Please call the NGV Foundation on 03 8620 2415 and we can process your donation over the phone or post out a donation form.


NGV Foundation
National Gallery of Victoria
PO Box 7259

Please make cheques payable to the National Gallery of Victoria.

About M. C. Escher

Maurits Cornelis Escher was born in 1898 into a prosperous family in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands. He studied graphic arts in Haarlem and worked as a printmaker throughout his life, creating some of the most celebrated and enigmatic prints of the twentieth century. Following his training, he settled in Rome, started a family and began producing prints inspired by nature and the picturesque landscapes of southern Italy.

Escher and his family left Italy in 1935 due to the rise of fascism. This departure prompted the artist to shift focus away from the external world to his inner, imaginary world. He began using his refined skills to produce ingenious and complex optical illusions, tessellations and ‘impossible realities’. These were first only taken seriously by mathematicians and scientists, but by the late 1960s Escher’s work had become widely popular, particularly with the counterculture generation, who appreciated the mind-bending nature of his images.

In the 1960s Escher’s failing health and the rising popularity of his woodcuts (which he printed on demand) slowed the artist’s creation of new prints, although his late works are no less inventive or technically brilliant than his earlier work. Escher made his last print in 1969, a year after his first museum retrospective was held at the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague. He died in 1972 at seventy-three years of age.