M. C. Escher  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Maurits Cornelis Escher (June 17 1898March 27 1972), usually referred to as M. C. Escher, was a Dutch graphic artist. He is known for his often mathematically inspired woodcuts, lithographs and mezzotints. These feature impossible constructions, explorations of infinity, architecture and tessellations.

His work features mathematical objects and operations including impossible objects, explorations of infinity, reflection, symmetry, perspective, truncated and stellated polyhedra, hyperbolic geometry, and tessellations. Although Escher believed he had no mathematical ability, he interacted with the mathematicians George Pólya, Roger Penrose, Harold Coxeter and crystallographer Friedrich Haag, and conducted his own research into tessellation.

Early in his career, he drew inspiration from nature, making studies of insects, landscapes, and plants such as lichens, all of which he used as details in his artworks. He traveled in Italy and Spain, sketching buildings, townscapes, architecture and the tilings of the Alhambra and the Mezquita of Cordoba, and became steadily more interested in their mathematical structure.

Escher's art became well known among scientists and mathematicians, and in popular culture, especially after it was featured by Martin Gardner in his April 1966 Mathematical Games column in Scientific American. Apart from being used in a variety of technical papers, his work has appeared on the covers of many books and albums. He was one of the major inspirations of Douglas Hofstadter's 1979 book Gödel, Escher, Bach.

Selected works

  • Trees, ink (1920)
  • St. Bavo's, Haarlem, ink (1920)
  • Flor de Pascua (The Easter Flower), woodcut/book illustrations (1921)
  • Eight Heads, woodcut (1922)
  • Dolphins also known as Dolphins in Phosphorescent Sea, woodcut (1923)
  • Tower of Babel, woodcut (1928)
  • Street in Scanno, Abruzzi, lithograph (1930)
  • Castrovalva, lithograph (1930)
  • The Bridge, lithograph (1930)
  • Palizzi, Calabria, woodcut (1930)
  • Pentedattilo, Calabria, lithograph (1930)
  • Atrani, Coast of Amalfi, lithograph (1931)
  • Ravello and the Coast of Amalfi, lithograph (1931)
  • Covered Alley in Atrani, Coast of Amalfi, wood engraving (1931)
  • Phosphorescent Sea, lithograph (1933)
  • Still Life with Spherical Mirror, lithograph (1934)
  • Hand with Reflecting Sphere also known as Self-Portrait in Spherical Mirror, lithograph (1935)
  • Inside St. Peter's, wood engraving (1935)
  • Portrait of G.A. Escher, lithograph (1935)
  • “Hell”, lithograph, (copied from a painting by Hieronymus Bosch) (1935)
  • Regular Division of the Plane, series of drawings that continued until the 1960s (1936)
  • Still Life and Street (his first impossible reality), woodcut (1937)
  • Metamorphosis I, woodcut (1937)
  • Day and Night, woodcut (1938)
  • Cycle, lithograph (1938)
  • Sky and Water I, woodcut (1938)
  • Sky and Water II, lithograph (1938)
  • Metamorphosis II, woodcut (1939–1940)
  • Verbum (Earth, Sky and Water), lithograph (1942)
  • Reptiles, lithograph (1943)
  • Ant, lithograph (1943)
  • Encounter, lithograph (1944)
  • Doric Columns, wood engraving (1945)
  • Three Spheres I, wood engraving (1945)
  • Magic Mirror, lithograph (1946)
  • Three Spheres II, lithograph (1946)
  • Another World Mezzotint also known as Other World Gallery, mezzotint (1946)
  • Eye, mezzotint (1946)
  • Another World also known as Other World, wood engraving and woodcut (1947)
  • Crystal, mezzotint (1947)
  • Up and Down also known as High and Low, lithograph (1947)
  • Drawing Hands, lithograph (1948)
  • Dewdrop, mezzotint (1948)
  • Stars, wood engraving (1948)
  • Double Planetoid, wood engraving (1949)
  • Order and Chaos (Contrast), lithograph (1950)
  • Rippled Surface, woodcut and linoleum cut (1950)
  • Curl-up, lithograph (1951)
  • House of Stairs, lithograph (1951)
  • House of Stairs II, lithograph (1951)
  • Puddle, woodcut (1952)
  • Gravitation, (1952)
  • Dragon, woodcut lithograph and watercolor (1952)
  • Cubic Space Division, lithograph (1952)
  • Relativity, lithograph (1953)
  • Tetrahedral Planetoid, woodcut (1954)
  • Compass Rose (Order and Chaos II), lithograph (1955)
  • Convex and Concave, lithograph (1955)
  • Three Worlds, lithograph (1955)
  • Print Gallery, lithograph (1956)
  • Mosaic II, lithograph (1957)
  • Cube with Magic Ribbons, lithograph (1957)
  • Belvedere, lithograph (1958)
  • Sphere Spirals, woodcut (1958)
  • Ascending and Descending, lithograph (1960)
  • Waterfall, lithograph (1961)
  • Möbius Strip II (Red Ants) woodcut (1963)
  • Knot, pencil and crayon (1966)
  • Metamorphosis III, woodcut (1967–1968)
  • Snakes, woodcut (1969)




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "M. C. Escher" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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