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Mariah Funston

Exploratory Art
Mr. Frampton
January 10, 2016
M.C Escher
I first started admiring M.C Escher’s art work when I was about 10-11. My sister had
some of his posters in her house and she had this giant book that contained pictures of his
artworks. I didn’t actually read the book but I assume it was about him and maybe talked about
what inspired him. I would always look through the pictures and try to figure them out. My
favorite would be the illusions. He created many illusions in his art work but the ones I enjoyed
the most were the impossible constructions. I would always follow the lines and try to make
sense of the illusion. Ever since then I’ve had interest in his artwork. I don’t know much about
M.C Escher, but I’ve always wondered about his life, history and how he came to be. Now that
I’m writing this essay I will get the opportunity to know more about him.
M.C Escher’s full name is Maurits Cornelius Escher. He was born in 1898 and died in a
retirement home for artists in 1972, making him about 73 when he died. He is most famous for
his illusions even though he has also drawn very realistic drawings. In his lifetime he made 448
lithographs, wood engravings and more than 2000 drawings and sketches. He wasn’t a very good
student in school, he often received bad grades. However, he was excellent at drawing.
Maurits was actually inspired by the Alhambra palace in Granada, Spain. He was inspired
by the mathematical patterns and designs. He visited the palace in 1922, when he visited Italy
and Spain.

Mariah Funston
Exploratory Art
Mr. Frampton
January 10, 2016

The palace’s

shape and look in this

picture reminded me about one of Maurits drawings’. The drawings’ entitled, “Ascending and
Descending” and, “Waterfall”

The way his buildings look in his drawings look like the same style as the palace. The building
look made out of clay or brick.

Mariah Funston
Exploratory Art
Mr. Frampton
January 10, 2016
M.C Escher seemed to focus on an impossible reality. A majority of his artwork
contained optical illusions. A very popular drawing of Maurits is entitled, “Relativity”

Is a good example of one of his impossible realities “Waterfall” would also be a good example.
Both of those artworks have that same, clay/ brick structure. The arches in the architecture relate
a lot to the buildings in Granada, Spain.
Tessellation was another type of artwork he would draw and explore. Tessellation is
basically a pattern made up of identical shapes, the shaped shouldn’t overlap each other and there
can’t be any gaps. Maurits drawing entitled, “Lizard (No. 56)

Mariah Funston
Exploratory Art
Mr. Frampton
January 10, 2016

Is an artwork that demonstrates tessellation. He drew this piece in 1942 with India ink, gold ink,
colored pencil and poster paint. I enjoy the color choice in this drawing, it is very pleasing to the
eye. Out of all of M.C Escher’s artwork I believe that tessellations were the style of art Maurits
drew and practiced the most.
The time that Maurits was in school he never had any formal mathematical education.
The way he understood mathematics and geometrics was very clear in his artwork. In his wood
engraving entitled, “Stars”

You can see how it is mathematical, it is a very complex geometric shape.

Mariah Funston
Exploratory Art
Mr. Frampton
January 10, 2016
Escher went to the Haarlem school of architecture and decorative arts. After he was done
with school he married Jetta Umiker in 1924.

Together they moved to Rome and stayed there until 1935. After living in Rome they moved to
Switzerland and lived there for two years. Although Maurits was very fascinated with Italy and
wanted to go back, they ended up moving to Belgium. Once WW2 happened it forced them to
move out and move to Baam, Netherlands. They lived here until 1970.
I find M.C Escher very fascinating because I also am one that likes to draw mathematical
designs such as mandalas. I also admire how all of his artwork kind of goes together, it all has
this style that somehow relates to all of the other drawings and carvings.
What makes Maurits unique from all other artists is that his buildings in his drawings are
similar to those in Spain. Although there are many other illusions out there in the art world,
Escher’s stand out to me the most. The way he incorporates the buildings into the illusion creates
a strange and alluring vibe for me. I like how M.C Escher mainly uses grayscale, I think it makes

Mariah Funston
Exploratory Art
Mr. Frampton
January 10, 2016
the drawing and carvings look a lot more powerful. What makes M.C Escher unique is the style
he uses in his artwork and where he got his inspiration.
Some facts I found interesting about M.C Escher is that he was left handed just like
Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci. In 1955 he also was awarded the Knighthood of the Order
of Orange Nassau. Now that I have done research on M.C Escher I know much more about him.
It was very interesting to learn about him and “dissect” his artworks, he uses very many different
types of art works such as mathematical, impossible constructions, realistic and tessellations. I
think Escher is an amazing and interesting artist, that is why I have recreated on of his many
artworks. The artwork of his that I have recreated is entitled, “Band of Union”

I wanted to recreate this because it was one of the first artworks of his that I observed, it was
hung up in my sister’s house at the time and caught my eye. Ever since then M.C Escher has
been one of my many inspirations.