The title of this print refers to the Bible's text on creation of the world. Initially Escher referred to this lithograph in less religieus terms:Aarde, lucht en water (Earth, air and water), but once the print was completed the artist chose the definite title Verbum. The lithograph was drawn on a stone which Escher had to borrow. 35 prints were pulled from this stone and unlike other lithographs by Escher Verbum was never reprinted because the stone was erased.
The artist had to raise the price for this print time and again to comply with the increasing rarity of Verbum. In the present lot we find a small raise along the lower sheet edge where Escher crossed out the initial sum of 30 Dutch guilders and changed it into f 31.50.
In 1954 one of the last of these prints was bought by American Nobel-prize winner Melvin Calvin, who shared Escher's fascination for the intricrate origin of life.