MC Escher

Art by MC Escher

The illusions created by Dutch graphic artist Maurits Cornelis Escher, more often known simply as MC Escher, have challenged mathematicians as well as those who appreciate his images for the graphic technique employed and command of imagery which is at once fantastic and rooted in reality.

Born at Leeuwarden, MC Escher studied at the Technical School of Art, Haarlem from 1919 to 1922, and his early work consisted primarily of Italian inspired landscapes and towns. However, Escher also began to experiment with constructing overall patterns with repeated configurations of animals, birds, fish, and elements found in nature. Escher then created further illusion by merging figures and ground, between what would be expected to be three-dimensional with flat patterns. Sophisticated mathematical principles were employed in designing the arrangements of his engravings. In fact, the principles in Escher's work warranted a major exhibition at the International Mathematical Congress, Amsterdam, in 1964.

From 1944 on, M.C. Escher's images exhibited an increasingly Surrealistic vision of fantastic visual reality and private symbolism, often representing what is truly absurd in actual experience with what appears to be factual and rational rendering. "Drawing Hands," "Reptiles," "Waterfall," "Relativity" and "Day and Night" are several of Escher's most well-known images which clearly implement the merging of spatial planes, reality with fantasy, into pure visual illusion.

MC Escher

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