Behind its elegant neoclassical 17th-century facade, the palace was formerly the winter residence of Queen Emma of the Netherlands and later the home of Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher. He lived from 1898 to 1972 and traveled throughout Europe, living in Italy and Switzerland and drawing on influences as far apart as the Alhambra in Granada and the bucolic landscape of Tuscany. Escher became famous for his perspective skewing lithographs, woodcuts, engravings, drawings and prints. His eccentric works are exhibited throughout his former home.
The museum opened in 2002 and has the world’s largest collection of Escher’s madcap designs. Highlights include the circular woodcut “Metamorphosis III” as well as the permanent “In the Eye of Escher” exhibition on the second story, where games are played with perspective using mirrors and kaleidoscopes. Permanent displays include his early Italian landscapes, family portraits, and many prints and woodcuts with ingenious optical illusions.