The Life and Work of Maurits Cornelis Escher, a Dutch Artist

Maurits Cornelis Escher (M. C. Escher) was a Dutch artist whose art was based on surrealism and mathematical illusions. He was born June 17th, 1898 in Leeuwarden, Netherlands. M. C. Escher is not currently alive; he died on March 27th, 1972, in Laren, Netherlands, living for 73 years. He did not actually stay in the Netherlands, in fact, he only returned to his homeland after travelling over 7 countries in Europe. He was the youngest of his five brothers, and wasn’t exceptionally good in school when he was a child.

However, he did attend Haarlem’s School for Architectural and Decorative Arts. In the early 1920s, Escher traveled to the Mediterranean and was greatly inspired and influenced by the imagery of the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain. During his travels, he met who would be his wife, Jetta Umiker, in Ravello, Spain, in 1923. The following year, they married on June 12th, and moved to Rome with her, and they had three children together.

Escher was greatly affected by World War II, causing him to change where he lived multiple times.

In 1935, the rise of Benito Mussolini and fascism forced Escher to move with his family to Switzerland in 1935, but he took a trip to Spain, visiting Alhambra Palace once again, and this time also visiting La Mezquita of Cordoba. After, he moved to Belgium with his family, but due to Nazi occupation during World War II, he instead left to Holland in 1941.

His artwork is known for playing with the perspective of the audience, and the orientation of his art, as well as the shadows in the art itself.

Get quality help now
Dr. Karlyna PhD

Proficient in: Abstract Art

4.7 (235)

“ Amazing writer! I am really satisfied with her work. An excellent price as well. ”

+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

He did not limit himself to paper and pencil, and he utilized many mediums for his art, using lithographs and woodcuts. In his art, he portrayed mathematical relationships between figures and shapes. His art mainly captured architecture or landscapes, but he also created human-oriented artwork as well, such as his lithograph, “Hand with Reflecting Sphere”, in 1935.

The places and buildings he had travelled to during his lifetime inspired him to create many of his images, including one of his most famous pieces of artwork, “Relativity”, in 1953. One could say that World War II helped inspire Escher by forcing him to leave his many homes and observe the architecture and structures of buildings all over Europe, which Escher based his artwork on.

C. Escher influenced modern art by introducing the abstract art style to a wide audience by using eye-catching lithographs and sketches. I chose Escher because of what he offers in his artwork that most artists do not, and also for being a pioneer of an art style completely inspired by self-experience, not other artwork. What I mostly like about Escher’s artwork is how his art doesn’t really have a beginning, or end for the audience or viewer.

Most artwork is straight forward, either repeating, or meant to be looked at in one way, even abstract paintings. Escher’s artwork can be observed and interpreted in any different way, both in meaning, and visual aspect, which not even many artists today can achieve this effect. There is little to be said of what I don’t like about Escher’s art, because I consider his art to be so imperfect and unorganized, it makes it perfect, because that’s how the many different interpretations can be made about the artwork.

But, people have opinions, and in my opinion, I can say that I don’t really like how Escher’s 2,000 pieces of art can be a bit repetitive to a point of being exploited or mocked in media culture, such as Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” being used as a constant joke, with many different satirical interpretations. I said before that his artwork itself did not repeat, but I meant that as individual pieces of art, but in general, too many of them are just so similar and barely different, and those many can’t even be looked at differently.

Cite this page

The Life and Work of Maurits Cornelis Escher, a Dutch Artist. (2023, Mar 16). Retrieved from

Let’s chat?  We're online 24/7