M.C. ESCHER Biography - Other artists & entretainers


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Name: M.C. Escher                                                                 
Born: 17 June 1898 Leeuwarden, The Netherlands                                     
Died: 27 March 1972 Laren, The Netherlands                                         
Maurits Cornelis Escher (June 17, 1898 - March 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               
Maurits Cornelis, or "Mauk" as he came to be nicknamed, was born in               
Leeuwarden, The Netherlands. He was the youngest son of civil engineer George     
Arnold Escher and his second wife, Sara Gleichman. He was a sickly child, and     
was placed in a special school at the age of seven and failed the second grade.   
In 1903, the family moved to Arnhem where he took carpentry and piano lessons     
until he was thirteen years old.                                                   
From 1903 until 1918 he attended primary and secondary school. Though he           
excelled at drawing, his grades were generally poor. In 1919, Escher attended     
the Haarlem School of Architecture and Decorative Arts. He briefly studied         
architecture, but failed a number of subjects (partly due to a persistent skin     
infection) and switched to decorative arts. Here he studied under Samuel           
Jessurun de Mesquita, with whom he would remain friends for years. In 1922         
Escher left the school, having gained experience in drawing and making woodcuts.   
In 1922, an important year in his life, Escher traveled through Italy (Florence,   
San Gimignano, Volterra, Siena) and Spain (Madrid, Toledo, Granada). He was       
impressed by the Italian countryside and by the Alhambra, a fourteenth-century     
Moorish castle in Granada, Spain. He came back to Italy regularly in the           
following years. In Italy he met Jetta Umiker, whom he married in 1924. The       
young couple settled down in Rome and stayed there until 1935, when the           
political climate under Mussolini became unbearable. Their son, Giorgio Arnaldo   
Escher, named after his grandfather, was born in Rome. The family next moved to   
Chateau-d'ix, Switzerland where they remained for two years.                       
Escher, who had been very fond of and inspired by the landscape in Italy, was     
decidedly unhappy in Switzerland, so in 1937, the family moved again, to Ukkel,   
a small town near Brussels, Belgium. World War II forced them to move in January   
1941, this time to Baarn, the Netherlands, where Escher lived until 1970. Most     
of Escher's better-known pictures date from this period. The sometimes cloudy,     
cold, wet weather of the Netherlands allowed him to focus intently on his works,   
and only during 1962, when he underwent surgery, was there a time when no new     
images were created.                                                               
On April 30, 1955, Escher was awarded a Knighthood of the Order of Orange-Nassau. 
Escher moved to the Rosa-Spier house in Laren in 1970, a retirement home for       
artists where he had his own studio. He died at the home on March 27, 1972, at     
73 years of age.