The Dutch artist
Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898–1972) was a draftsman, book
illustrator, tapestry designer, and muralist, but his primary work
was as a printmaker. Born in Leeuwarden, Holland, the son of a
civil engineer, Escher spent most of his childhood in Arnhem.
Aspiring to be an architect, Escher enrolled in the School for
Architecture and Decorative Arts in Haarlem. While studying there
from 1919 to 1922, his emphasis shifted from architecture to
drawing and printmaking upon the encouragement of his teacher
Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita. In 1924 Escher married Jetta Umiker,
and the couple settled in Rome to raise a family. They resided in
Italy until 1935, when growing political turmoil forced them to
move first to Switzerland, then to Belgium. In 1941, with World War
II under way and German troops occupying Brussels, Escher returned
to Holland and settled in Baarn, where he lived and worked until
shortly before his death.
Escher was an individual
artist. He incorporated the fantasy of
the logic and precision of
the perspective and three-dimensional vision of Wright, and the
patterns of the Moors, into his own woodcuts, lithographs, and
drawings. He created impossible worlds and outlandish creatures. His
inspiration, the Moors of Alhambra, Spain, lead him to create wonderful
tesselations of people, animals, and geometric shapes.