MC Escher

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M.C. ESCHER A slideshow by Ben Mosher


-He was the son of civil engineer, George Arnold Escher and his wife, Sarah Gliechman. -Maurits Cornelius Escher was born on June 17th, 1898 in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands. Leeuwarden G.E. Escher


-Escher attended secondary school from 1912 until 1918. Excelled in art, but received poor grades in all other subjects. Taught the art of linoleum cutting by F.W. van Der Haagen. Self-portrait, 1917 -From 1919 until 1922, Escher attended Haarlem School of Architecture and Ornamental Design where he was taught by S. Jessurun de Mesquita. Mesquita introduced Escher to many different printing techniques over the course of their aquaintance. By the time Escher left Haarlem, he had become proficient in op art and woodcutting. Eight Heads, 1922


-Op art is short for “Optical Art”, a form of art which exploits the fallibility of the eye, through the use of optical illusions. Some famous Op Artists include Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley. Below are some examples of op art. OP ART Bridget Riley Movement in Squares, 1961 Bridget Riley Blaze 1, 1962 Bridget Riley Arrest 1, 1965 Victor Vasarely ZEBRES, 1939 Victor Vasarey DIA-ARGENT, 1969 Victor Vasarely VONAL-FEGN, 1971


Necker Cube Penrose Triangle -Much of Escher’s work in optical illusion was based on ideas started with the creation of the Necker Cube and the Penrose Triangle, both shown below. -Other famous pieces of art by Escher were done as tessellations, or as self-repeating patterns that could be extended over an infinitely large space. Shown at the right is an example of a simple tessellation.


-After finishing his schooling, Escher took to traveling. He often would travel – on foot – across the Italian countryside, which he found to be hugely inspirational. Escher’s best years were spent in Italy. Below are some landscape pictures he carved / drew while in Italy. ITALIAN PERIOD Tropea Calabria, 1931 Atrani, Coast of Amalfi, 1931 Ravello and the Coast of Amalfi, 1931 Hand with Reflecting Sphere, 1935 -It was also in Italy where Escher met his beloved wife, Jetta Umiker, whom he married in 1924. On the right are portraits Escher drew of both of them during their stay in Italy. In the same year as their marriage, they settled in Rome, where they lived until 1935.


-In 1935, the political climate in Italy became unbearable with Benito Mussolini’s rise to power, and the start of World War II. In 1935, Escher and his family fled Italy, and settled down again in Switzerland. -During the two years Escher spent in Switzerland, he found himself quite unhappy. His morose mood was reflected both by the style of his artwork, and by the small amount of work that he did during his stay. Snow, 1936 House in the Lava near Nunziata, Sicily 1936 Still Life and Street 1937 Benito Mussolini MOVING TO SWITZERLAND


BELGIUM AND THE NETHERLANDS Metamorphosis II, 1940 -Feeling depressed in Switzerland, Escher decided to move to Belgium in 1937, then was forced again by the war to move back home to the Netherlands. It was during this time that Escher explored tessellations primarily. At the right are several renditions of tessellations Escher did while in Belgium. Magic Mirror 1946 When Escher returned to the Netherlands, he found the dreary weather allowed him to focus entirely on his works. One of his most famous pieces, shown on the left, was made during this period.


THE LATE M.C. ESCHER The Late 50’s and 60’s was when Escher finally started getting serious attention for his artwork. The time he spent in the Netherlands gave him the focus to create such popular marvels as Belvedere, Ascending and Descending, Waterfall, and Knots. In 1970, M.C. Escher moved to an artist retirement home called the Rosa-Spier house, located in the northern Netherlands. He remained at the home until he died of old age on the 27th of March, 1972, at the age of 73. He left behind three sons. Belvedere, 1958 Ascending and Descending, 1960 Knots, 1965 Waterfall, 1961


ESCHER IN LEGOS Ascending and Descending, 1960


Waterfall, 1961


Relativity, 1953

Personal Rendition: 

Personal Rendition Tower of Babel, 1928 My Version (Without a backdrop)



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