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M. C. Escher (Dutch, 1898-1972)
Also known as: Escher, Maurits Cornelis; Maurits Cornelis EscherBirth Place: Leeuwarden (Friesland, Netherlands)
Maurits Cornelis Escher devoted his career to innovatively exploring space, perspective, and perception. His Impossible Space, Transformation Prints, and Regular Division Drawings gained great popularity with the public throughout the 20th century and demonstrate Escher’s adept ability to combine architectural concepts and graphic art.
In 1898, Escher was born the youngest son of a Dutch civil engineer. After failing high school, Escher continued in his father’s footsteps and took an interest in design and construction, so he enrolled in the School for Architecture and Decorative Arts in Haarlem. After only one week at this school, Escher knew that he would rather study graphic art than architecture, but he later combined concepts from both of these fields in his innovative drawings and prints.
In 1924, Escher moved to Italy, where he traveled and made sketches for his engravings of natural landscapes and foreign architecture. In 1935, Escher and his family moved to Switzerland to escape Italian fascism, and during this time Escher took trips to Spain, where he was able to see the Alhambra, a Moorish castle in Grenada. The castle’s architectural design inspired Escher to begin his Regular Division Drawings and Transformation Prints, which became two of the most recognizable groups in his body of work. These works along with his Impossible Constructions led not only artists, but also mathematicians and scientists to laud Escher’s work. When Escher died in 1972, he left behind a legacy of 448 lithographs, and over 2000 drawings and sketches.
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