@Left Handed, Facts and Family
M. C. Escher born at
He met Jetta Umiker in 1923 while touring Italy and married her in 1924 in Viareggio. The couple moved to Rome, where they lived till 1935.
The couple had three sons – Giorgio Arnaldo Escher (1926), Arthur Escher (1930), and Jan Escher (1938).
He died on March 27, 1972 at his home in Laren, at the age of 73, leaving back a collection of over 2,000 works.
Maurits Cornelis Escher was born on June 17, 1898, in Leeuwarden, Friesland, as the youngest son of civil engineer George Arnold Escher and Sara Gleichman.
When he was five, the family relocated to Arnhem where his elementary and secondary education took place.
Even though he was good at drawing, he failed his high school exams and hence, never officially completed schooling. However, he learnt carpentry and piano till the age of 13.
In 1919, he enrolled at the School of Architecture and Decorative Arts, Haarlem, to pursue a career in architecture, but switched to graphic and decorative arts after a week upon the advice of graphic teacher, Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita.
With considerable knowledge and experience in drawing and making woodcuts, he graduated in 1922.
He used linoleum blocks to produce his first prints, the earliest being a portrait of his father ‘Escher’s Father’ in 1916. However, his woodcuts print ‘St. Francis (Preaching to the Birds)’ became his first recognized work.
After completing school, he travelled across Italy and Spain in 1922, where the 14th century Moorish castle, Alhambra, in Granada, caught his fascination.
He became passionate about the theory of ‘regular division’ of planes, completing his first artistic work ‘Eight Heads’ in 1922 by cutting eight heads – four male and four female in a wood block, and printing the block four times.
His first one-man show in Siena was held in August 1923, followed by another first-man show in Holland in February 1924.
In 1924, he moved back to sketching landscapes of Italy, emphasizing on irregular perspectives which are practically impossible in natural form.
His 1937 woodcuts design ‘Metamorphosis’ is an excellent example of depicting a story through pictures by incorporating mathematics into art. ‘Metamorphosis II’ and ‘Metamorphosis III’ are other larger creations of the series.
His ‘Reptiles’ (1937) is a cult example of an abstract concept, where two and three-dimensional images are perfectly combined to bring the reptiles in the picture to life.
While experimenting with plane-filling techniques, transformations, and shapes, he created an exceptional woodcut print ‘Day and Night’ in 1938, which is regarded as one of his best single works.