Cornelis Escher (1898-1972) is one of the world's most famous graphic artists. His art is enjoyed by millions of people all
over the world, as can be seen on the many web sites on the internet. He is most
famous for his so-called impossible structures, such as Ascending and Descending, Relativity, his Transformation Prints, such
as Metamorphosis I, Metamorphosis II and Metamorphosis III, Sky & Water I or Reptiles.
But he also made some wonderful, more realistic work during the time he lived and traveled in Italy. Castrovalva for example, where one already can see Escher's
fascination for high and low, close by and far away. The lithograph Atrani, a small town on the Amalfi Coast was made in 1931, but comes back for example, in his masterpiece
Metamorphosis I and II.
during his lifetime, made 448 lithographs, woodcuts and wood engravings and over 2000 drawings and sketches. Like some of
his famous predecessors, - Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Dürer and Holbein-, M.C. Escher was left-handed.
Apart from being a graphic artist, M.C. Escher illustrated books, designed tapestries, postage
stamps and murals. He was born in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands, as the fourth and youngest son of a civil engineer. After 5 years the family moved
to Arnhem where Escher spent most of his youth. After failing his high
school exams, Maurits ultimately was enrolled in the School for Architecture and Decorative Arts in Haarlem. After only one week, he informed
his father that he would rather study graphic art instead of architecture, as he had shown his drawings and linoleum cuts
to his graphic teacher Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita, who encouraged him to continue with graphic arts. After finishing school, he traveled extensively through Italy, where he met his wife Jetta Umiker, whom he married in 1924. They settled in Rome, where they stayed until 1935. During these 11 years, Escher would travel each year
throughout Italy, drawing and sketching for the various prints he would make
when he returned home.
became fascinated by the regular Division of the Plane, when he first visited the Alhambra, a fourteen century Moorish castle in Granada,
Spain in 1922. During
the years in Switzerland and throughout the Second World War, he vigorously pursued
his hobby, by drawing 62 of the total of 137 Regular Division Drawings he would make in his lifetime.
He would extend
his passion for the Regular Division of the Plane, by using some of his drawings as the basis for yet another hobby, carving
beech wood spheres.
He played with architecture, perspective and impossible spaces. His art continues to amaze and
wonder millions of people all over the world. In his work we recognize his keen observation of the world around us and the
expressions of his own fantasies. M.C. Escher shows us that reality is wondrous, comprehensible and fascinating.