M.C. Escher (Dutch, June 17, 1898–March 27, 1972) was an artist who was known for his elaborate lithographs, woodcuts, and mezzotints. His best-known works include Drawing Hands, Ascending and Descending, and Sky and Water. Escher was born Maurits Cornelis Escher in Leeuwarden, Netherlands. The Eschers moved to Arnhem in 1903. Escher attended primary school and secondary school in Arnhem. As a child, he was frequently sick and attended a special school. Escher had poor grades, but was skilled at drawing.

In 1919, he enrolled at the Harlem School of Architecture and Decorative Arts. Initially, Escher attended the school to study architecture. However, after failing a number of subjects at the school, he changed his focus to decorative arts. After switching majors, Escher studied under Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita (Dutch, June 6, 1868–February 11, 1944). Escher left school in 1922 after gaining experience creating woodcuts and drawings. Escher then traveled to Italy and Spain. During his stay in Spain, he visited Alhambra, a Moorish castle. The designs he saw at Alhambra were based on mathematical formulas, and these designs heavily influenced Escher's own creations. In 1924, he married Jetta Umiker. The newlyweds moved to Rome and had a son. Escher decided to move his family to Switzerland in 1935 due to his distaste for the political climate in Italy.

In 1936, Escher began to create artwork based on mathematics. During this period, he became interested in symmetry and order. By 1937, the family decided to move to Brussels, Belgium, because they were not happy in Switzerland. While living in Belgium, Escher started to create woodcuts based on the concept of 17-plane symmetry groups. By 1941, the family was forced to move to the Netherlands due to World War II. Escher stayed in the Netherlands until 1970. During this period, he diligently produced new work, including the book Regular Division of the Plane. During his career, Escher held exhibits of his art all over Holland and Switzerland. Escher had his first United States exhibition in Washington, DC. In 1970, Escher moved to Laren, in the Netherlands, to an artists' retirement home. He died in Laren on March 27, 1972.

Timeline

1898
Born in Leeuwarden, Netherlands
1918–1919
Attends Technical College in Delft
1919–1922
Studied at the School of Architecture and Ornamental Design in Haarlem
1924
Married Jetta Umiker and settled in Rome until 1935
1972
Died in Hilversum

Exhibitions

2008
M.C. Escher - Gl. Holtegaard, Holte (solo)
2008
M.C. Escher: Rhythm of Illusion - Flint Institute of Arts, Flint, MI (solo)
2008
Approximately Infinite Universe - New Jerseyy, Basel
2008
To Infinity and Beyond: Mathematics in Contemporary Art - Heckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, NY
2007
An Escher Block Party - The Katzen Arts Center at American University, Washington, DC (solo)
2007
M.C. Escher - Rhythm of Illusion - San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA (solo)
2006
Illusion und Wirklichkeit. M.C. Escher - Adolf Luther - Kunsthalle Krems, Krems
2003
Das Endlose Rätsel - Dali und die Magier der Mehrdeutigkeit - Stiftung Museum Kunst Palast, Dusseldorf
2003
Maurits Escher (1889-1972) - The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg (solo)
2002
M.C. Escher - Bunkamura, Tokyo (solo)
2002
Ik en de buitenwereld vlak bij huis - Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem - MMKA, Arnhem
2001
M.C. Escher - Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL (solo)
1998
M.C. Escher (1898-1972): A Celebration - National Gallery of Canada - Musée des beaux-arts du Canada, Ottawa, ON (solo)
1998
M.C. Escher - Kresge Art Museum, Lansing, MI (solo)
1998
M. C. Escher - Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem - MMKA, Arnhem (solo)
1992
Adam & Eve - Museum of Modern Art Saitama, Saitama
1984
Maurits C. Escher - Musee de Charlevoix , La Malbaie, QC (solo)
1968
Mickelson Gallery, Washington DC
1968
The Hague (Gemeentemuseum)
1934
Dutch Historical Institute in Rome
1926
'Gruppo Romano Incisori Artisti' Rome
1923
First one-man exhibition in Sienna, 'Circolo Artistico'.

Literature

1990
'Visions of Symmetry: Notebooks, Periodic Drawings, and Related Works of M.C. Escher' by Doris Schattschneider
1989
'Escher on Escher: Exploring the Infinite'
1986
'M.C. Escher: Art and Science', edited by H.M.S. Coxeter, R. Penrose and M.L. Teuber
1983
'M.C. Escher, 29 Master Prints'
1981
'Leven en Werk van M.C. Escher' (M.C. Escher. His Life and Complete Graphic Work) by F.H. Bool, J.R. Krist, J.L. Locher and F. Wierda
1979
'Goedel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid' by Douglas Hofstadter
1976
'De Toverspiegel van M.C. Escher' by Bruno Ernst
1971
'De werelden van M.C. Escher' (The World of M.C. Escher)
1965
'Symmetry Aspects of M.C. Escher's Periodic Drawings' by Caroline H. MacGillavry
1959
'Grafiek en tekeningen M.C. Escher' (The Graphic Work of M.C. Escher)
1958
'Regelmatige vlak verdeling' (The Regular Division of the Plane), written and illustrated by Escher