M. C. Escher
Maurits Cornelis Escher (17 June 1898 – 27 March 1972), usually referred to as M. C. Escher (ˈɛʃər, ˈmʌurɪts kɔrˈneːlɪs ˈɛʃər), was a Dutch
Dutch people
The Dutch people are an ethnic group native to the Netherlands. They share a common culture and speak the Dutch language. Dutch people and their descendants are found in migrant communities worldwide, notably in Suriname, Chile, Brazil, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and the United...

 graphic artist
Graphic arts
A type of fine art, graphic art covers a broad range of art forms. Graphic art is typically two-dimensional and includes calligraphy, photography, drawing, painting, printmaking, lithography, typography, serigraphy , and bindery. Graphic art also consists of drawn plans and layouts for interior...

. He is known for his often mathematically
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

 inspired woodcut
Woodcut—occasionally known as xylography—is a relief printing artistic technique in printmaking in which an image is carved into the surface of a block of wood, with the printing parts remaining level with the surface while the non-printing parts are removed, typically with gouges...

s, lithographs
Lithography is a method for printing using a stone or a metal plate with a completely smooth surface...

, and mezzotint
Mezzotint is a printmaking process of the intaglio family, technically a drypoint method. It was the first tonal method to be used, enabling half-tones to be produced without using line- or dot-based techniques like hatching, cross-hatching or stipple...

s. These feature impossible constructions
Impossible object
An impossible object is a type of optical illusion consisting of a two-dimensional figure which is instantly and subconsciously interpreted by the visual system as representing a projection of a three-dimensional object although it is not actually possible for such an object to exist An impossible...

, explorations of infinity
Infinity is a concept in many fields, most predominantly mathematics and physics, that refers to a quantity without bound or end. People have developed various ideas throughout history about the nature of infinity...

, architecture
Architecture is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural and political symbols and as works of art...

, and tessellation
A tessellation or tiling of the plane is a pattern of plane figures that fills the plane with no overlaps and no gaps. One may also speak of tessellations of parts of the plane or of other surfaces. Generalizations to higher dimensions are also possible. Tessellations frequently appeared in the art...

Maurits Cornelis, nicknamed "Mauk", was born in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, in a house that forms part of the Princessehof Ceramics Museum
Princessehof Ceramics Museum
Princessehof Ceramics Museum is a city museum of ceramics in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands. The museum's name comes from one of two buildings in which it is housed: a small palace built in 1693 and later occupied by Marie Louise, dowager Princess of Orange...


We live in a beautiful and orderly world, not in a chaos without norms, as we sometimes seem to.

As quoted in "Up and down Stairways : Escher, Bakhtin, and Joseph Andrews" by Astrid Masetti Lobo Costa in Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, Vol. 31, No. 3, Restoration and Eighteenth Century (Summer 1991), pp. 553-568

The result of the struggle between the thought and the ability to express it, between dream and reality, is seldom more than a compromise or an approximation. Thus there is little chance that we will succeed in getting through to a large audience, and on the whole we are quite satisfied if we are understood and appreciated by a small number of sensitive, receptive people.

When someone forgets himself, this by no means makes him altruistic; when a thinking person forgets himself, he immediately also forgets his fellowman, he loses himself and his humanity by becoming engrossed in his subject. Thus he is in a sense more contemplative than a feeling person.

It's pleasing to realize that quite a few people enjoy this sort of playfulness and that they are not afraid to look at the relative nature of rock-hard reality.