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Who is M.C. Escher?

M.C. Escher was a master of illusion, whose art transcends the ordinary, inviting us into a world where reality twists and bends in mesmerizing patterns. His intricate drawings challenge our perceptions, blending mathematics with artistry. As you explore Escher's enigmatic creations, ask yourself: How do his impossible constructions mirror the complexities of our own perspectives? Continue reading to delve deeper.
Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

M.C. Escher, whose complete name is Maurits Cornelis Escher was a Dutch artist who was born in Leeuwarden on 17 June 1898. His parents — George Arnold Escher, a civil engineer, and Sara Gleichman — had their son educated in the fields of carpentry and music. As a boy, Escher showed artistic talent but made poor marks in school. After primary and secondary school, he studied architecture for a short time before moving on to study decorative arts. During this part of his education, Escher learned to create woodcuts and made more progress with his drawing.

In 1922, M.C. Escher spent time traveling through Spain and Italy. These travels were important to the artist. In addition to being inspired by the architecture and landscapes that he experiences during this time, he also met the woman who he was to marry. Jetta Umiker. The couple moved a number of times within Italy, Switzerland, and Belgium during the early years of their marriage. In 1941, they were forced to move once again due to World War II. This time, they moved to the Netherlands and remained there for nearly thirty years.

M.C. Escher, whose complete name is Maurits Cornelis Escher, was a Dutch artist born in the Netherlands on June 17, 1898.
M.C. Escher, whose complete name is Maurits Cornelis Escher, was a Dutch artist born in the Netherlands on June 17, 1898.

Escher is best know for his woodcuts, lithographs, and mezzotints. His work often showcases architecturally impossible structures, tessellations, metamorphosis, and experiments with infinity. Some of his best-known works are Still Life With Spherical Mirror (1934), Hand with Reflecting Sphere (1935), Magic Mirror (1946), Drawing Hands (1948), and Relativity (1953). During the course of his career, he was awarded a Knighthood of the Order of Orange-Nassau. At the age of 73, M.C. Escher passed away on 27 March 1972.

During the course of his life, M.C. Escher developed quite a following. In fact, there continue to be many Escher fans throughout the world today. His works, which question human perception and inspire thoughts of alternative realities are reproduced and sold in the media of posters, coffee cups, ties, puzzles, and even sculptures. The Escher Museum, dedicated to the Dutch artist, was opened up in The Hague, Netherlands n 16 November 2002. However, there are many other museums that are home to M.C. Escher works. The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and The National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa are two public museums that own original Eschers. The work of M.C. Escher is also part of some of the most prestigious private collections in the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who was M.C. Escher and what is he known for?

Maurits Cornelis Escher, commonly known as M.C. Escher, was a Dutch graphic artist born on June 17, 1898. He is renowned for his mathematically inspired woodcuts, lithographs, and mezzotints which feature impossible constructions, explorations of infinity, architecture, and tessellations. His work bridges the gap between art and mathematics, and he is celebrated for his visual paradoxes and optical illusions that have fascinated both art lovers and scientists alike.

What are some of M.C. Escher's most famous works?

M.C. Escher's most famous works include "Relativity" (1953), which depicts a world with multiple gravity sources, "Drawing Hands" (1948), an image of two hands drawing each other, and "Waterfall" (1961), showcasing a perpetual motion machine. These iconic pieces exemplify his unique ability to manipulate perspective and space, challenging viewers' perceptions of reality. His art continues to be exhibited in museums and has a lasting influence on popular culture.

How did M.C. Escher's work influence mathematics and science?

M.C. Escher's work has had a profound impact on mathematics and science, particularly in the fields of geometry and topology. His intricate patterns and structures have provided visual representations of mathematical concepts, inspiring mathematicians and scientists to explore the complex relationship between art and the natural world. Escher's work has been studied for its use of symmetry, infinity, and impossible objects, offering new ways to visualize mathematical principles.

Did M.C. Escher receive formal training in mathematics?

Despite the mathematical precision of his work, M.C. Escher did not receive formal training in mathematics. He developed his understanding of the subject through personal study and interactions with mathematicians. Escher's interest in geometry grew in the 1930s, particularly after a 1936 visit to the Alhambra in Spain, where he was inspired by the Moorish use of tessellation, which became a central theme in his later work.

Where can one view M.C. Escher's artwork today?

M.C. Escher's artwork can be viewed in various museums and collections around the world. The Escher Museum in The Hague, Netherlands, is dedicated to his work, housing the world's largest collection of his pieces. Additionally, his art is often included in exhibitions at major institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., allowing a wide audience to appreciate his genius.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for PublicPeople, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for PublicPeople, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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    • M.C. Escher, whose complete name is Maurits Cornelis Escher, was a Dutch artist born in the Netherlands on June 17, 1898.
      By: Ruslan Olinchuk
      M.C. Escher, whose complete name is Maurits Cornelis Escher, was a Dutch artist born in the Netherlands on June 17, 1898.