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M.C Escher

  • Date Submitted: 05/15/2014 11:07 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 55.5 
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M.C. Escher
Maurits Cornelis Escher was born July 17, 1898 in the Dutch municipality of Leeuwarden. Mauk, as he came to be known, was the youngest son of his dad who was a civil enginer George Arnold Escher. As a young boy Escher studied classical piano as well as carpentry.   In 1922 Escher left school and began to travel extensively throughout Europe, making sketches of his various surroundings to later use as material for woodcuts. These travels, particularly his time spent living in Italy and later in Spain amongst the Moorish castles, would serve as life-long influences on his art. While in Italy he met Jetta Umiker whom he married in 1924. They initially lived in Italy for 11 years and had 3 sons. It was Escher’s passion for Italian landscapes, and later for the intricate majolica tiling patterns of the Moors, that led to his fascination with the ‘regular division of a plane,’ and he used lithographs, woodcuts, and mezzotints to practice this art.

During Escher’s life, he produced a very large body of work. His unique style consisted of a masterful study of traditional ‘decorative’ arts, as well as the inclusion of unique mathematical theories and concepts. Throughout Escher’s body of work, several themes are evident. Many of his pieces deal with concepts such as light reflection or refraction, such as Hand with Reflecting Sphere (Self-Portrait in Spherical Mirror). This lithograph demonstrates both Escher’s interest in illustrating point-of-view, but also his ability to reproduce complex works under in a distorted way. In his early years, Escher made many sketches of insects and other creatures. These influences would resurface in his body of work in such pieces as Reptiles and House of Stairs. The piece Reptiles, in particular, illustrates Escher’s fascination with defying the limits of the plane of an element. The work features an illustration of tiny lizards that progressively become more detailed until they are literally crawling up off the paper and...

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