November 5, 2010
Maurits Cornelis Escher was born in the Netherlands on June 17, 1898. He attended the Haarlem School of Architecture and Decorative Arts between the years 1919 and 1922, where he learned to make woodcuts. When Escher left the school, he travelled through Italy, and it was there that he met his wife, Jetta Umiker. He lived in Rome for a time, then moved to Switzerland, then to Belgium, then back to the Netherlands. He lived there until his death in 1972. Most of his better known pieces were done between the years 1941 and 1972. Escher usually worked with woodcuts and lithographs in creating his art pieces.
He is known for his portrayal of geometric relationships, and he used black and white to enhance dimensions in his creations. Ecsher played with impossible realities, books on a table turn into buildings on a street, as in Still Life and Street (1937):
Escher explored the idea of infinity in his works such as The Ants (1963) in which the ants are crawling in an endless cycle and we can’t tell where the line of ants begins and ends:
M.C. Escher also did many tesselations, which is the filling in of a plane with shapes in a pattern to make so there are no gaps or spaces between the shapes:
Escher’s use of mathematical and geometric relationships, symmetry and infinity, and distortion of perspective have made him one of the most recognizable artists of the modern art.