Escher writes in The Graphic Work of M.C. Escher, “In the lower left foreground there lies a piece of paper on which the edges of a cube are drawn. Two small circles mark the places where edges cross each other. Which edge comes at the front and which at the back? In a three-dimentional world simultaneous front and back is an impossibil- ity and so cannot be illustrated. Yet it is quite possible to draw an object which displays a different reality when looked at from above and from below The lad sitting on the bench has got just such a cube-like absurdity in his hands. He gazes thoughtfully at this imcomprehensible object and seems oblivious to the fact that the belvedere behind him
has been built in the same impossible style. On the floor of the lower platform, that is to say indoors, stands a ladder which two people are busy climbing. But as soon as they arrive a floor higher thay are back in the open air and have to re-enter the building. Is it any wonder that nobody in the company can be bothered about the fate of the prisoner in the dungeon who sticks his head through the bars and bemoans his fate?”
The characters are borrowed from Heironymous Bosch’s “Garden of Earthly Delights.” And the bars of the prison are impossible to construct, unless one is working with molten iron. Take a close look at their interlocking pattern. Lastly, the figure with the cube has his own woodcut.
Escher was tempted to title this work “Ghost house.