The Escher Museum (Escher in the Palace) is a museum featuring the works of the Dutch graphical artist M. C. Escher. The museum is housed in a former palace Lange Voorhout Palace dating from the 18th century. Queen Emma (Emma of Waldeck Pyrmont) bought the stately house in 1896. She used it as a winter palace from March 1901 till her death in March 1934. Four Dutch Queens used the palace for their business offices, till Queen Beatrix moved the office to Paleis Noordeinde, about 10 minutes walk from Escher in Het Paleis. In all the former 'Royal Rooms' first and second floor there are window shades with information about the interior in Emma's time. There are two rooms dedicated to Emma's period and often there are photo enlargements or other information about Queen Mother Emma on display besides the never-ending Escher exhibition.
The museum features a permanent display of a large number of woodcuts and lithographs by Escher, among them the world famous prints Air and Water, Belvedere and Waterfall. Escher in Het Paleis shows the early lovely Italian landscapes, the many mirror prints and a choice from the tesselation drawings, further the three versions of the Metamorphosis, from the first small one to the third of 7 meters. This one is shown in a circle. It underlines the new vision of the museum on the work of M.C. Escher.
The third floor of the museum is dedicated to the Optical Illusion, besides the famous Escher Room in which grownups seem to be smaller than their children one's eyes will be tricked by multiple interactive dispays.
In the rooms of the museum are fifteen chandeliers made by the Rotterdam artist Hans van Bentem. The artist designed these especially for the museum, with some references to the work of Escher and the Palace. In the ballroom, a star chandelier is endlessly reflected in the two mirrors. In other rooms there are chandeliers such as a shark, a skull, spiders, and a sea horse.References:
Kroměříž stands on the site of an earlier ford across the River Morava. The gardens and castle of Kroměříž are an exceptionally complete and well-preserved example of a European Baroque princely residence and its gardens and described as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The first residence on the site was founded by bishop Stanislas Thurzo in 1497. The building was in a Late Gothic style, with a modicum of Renaissance detail. During the Thirty Years' War, the castle was sacked by the Swedish army (1643).
It was not until 1664 that a bishop from the powerful Liechtenstein family charged architect Filiberto Lucchese with renovating the palace in a Baroque style. The chief monument of Lucchese's work in Kroměříž is the Pleasure Garden in front of the castle. Upon Lucchese's death in 1666, Giovanni Pietro Tencalla completed his work on the formal garden and had the palace rebuilt in a style reminiscent of the Turinese school to which he belonged.
After the castle was gutted by a major fire in March 1752, Bishop Hamilton commissioned two leading imperial artists, Franz Anton Maulbertsch and Josef Stern, arrived at the residence in order to decorate the halls of the palace with their works. In addition to their paintings, the palace still houses an art collection, generally considered the second finest in the country, which includes Titian's last mythological painting, The Flaying of Marsyas. The largest part of the collection was acquired by Bishop Karel in Cologne in 1673. The palace also contains an outstanding musical archive and a library of 33,000 volumes.
UNESCO lists the palace and garden among the World Heritage Sites. As the nomination dossier explains, 'the castle is a good but not outstanding example of a type of aristocratic or princely residence that has survived widely in Europe. The Pleasure Garden, by contrast, is a very rare and largely intact example of a Baroque garden'. Apart from the formal parterres there is also a less formal nineteenth-century English garden, which sustained damage during floods in 1997.
Interiors of the palace were extensively used by Miloš Forman as a stand-in for Vienna's Hofburg Imperial Palace during filming of Amadeus (1984), based on the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who actually never visited Kroměříž. The main audience chamber was also used in the film Immortal Beloved (1994), in the piano concerto scene.