M. C. Escher

I have seen both June 17 & 18, 1898 as dates of Escher’s birth, so will celebrate him today. Escher, of course, is the artist who created pictures of such things as stairs which seems to go up in impossible ways, as well as other optical illusions. I have always found his work fascinating.

Maurits Cornelis Escher was a Dutch graphic artist who made woodcuts and lithographs. His work is based on mathematics, and includes “impossible objects, explorations of infinity, reflection, symmetry, perspective, truncated and stellated polyhedra, hyperbolic geometry, and tessellations.” His work forces us to take a new view or reality, which can feel very dreamlike.

He was born in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands, but spent most of his youth in Arnhem. He did not do well in school, but excelled in graphic arts at the School for Architecture and Decorative Arts in Haarlem. After school, he traveled through Italy, where he met his wife, Jetta. The couple settled in Rome, until shortly before the outbreak of the second World War, when they moved to Switzerland, where he produced a large body of work. He finally moved back to the Netherlands, where he remained until his death on March 27, 1972, in Laren, leaving a legacy of more than 2,000 pieces.

The graphic I chose is called “Convex and Concave.” I chose this because I once put together a puzzle based on the work, and it was the hardest puzzle I have ever done! But I also love some of his other works like “Relativity” and “Waterfall” and “Castrovalva.” You can find all his works at the official Website at http://www.mcescher.com. I have also taken most of the quotes below from that site.


We adore chaos because we love to produce order.–M. C. Escher

The ideas that are basic to [my work] often bear witness to my amazement and wonder at the laws of nature which operate in the world around us. He who wonders discovers that this in itself is wonder.–M. C. Escher

I believe that producing pictures, as I do, is almost solely a question of wanting so very much to do it well.–M. C. Escher

I could fill an entire second life with working on my prints.–M. C. Escher

To have peace with this peculiar life; to accept what we do not understand; to wait calmly for what awaits us, you have to be wiser than I am.–M. C. Escher

At moments of great enthusiasm it seems to me that no one in the world has ever made something this beautiful and important.–M. C. Escher

I am always wandering around in enigmas. There are young people who constantly come to tell me: you, too, are making Op Art. I haven’t the slightest idea what that is, Op Art. I’ve been doing this work for thirty years now.–M. C. Escher

I don’t grow up. In me is the small child of my early days.–M. C. Escher

The things I want to express are so beautiful and pure.–M. C. Escher

So let us then try to climb the mountain, not by stepping on what is below us, but to pull us up at what is above us, for my part at the stars; amen.–M. C. Escher

My work is a game, a very serious game.–M. C. Escher

Are you really sure that a floor can’t also be a ceiling?.–M. C. Escher

Only those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible. I think it’s in my basement… let me go upstairs and check.–M. C. Escher

I try in my prints to testify that we live in a beautiful and orderly world, not in a chaos without norms, even though that is how it sometimes appears.–M. C. Escher

Find nearly 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list, as well as quotation related merchandise, at http://www.quotelady.com.