Maurits Cornelis Escher was born in 1898 in the Netherlands. He was an unhealthy child and struggled in school, failing the second grade. In the primary grades he continued to have trouble with his schoolwork but his skill in drawing became evident.
After he failed several of his subjects in architecture school, he began studying decorative art and found a mentor who helped him fine-tune his gift for drawing and making wood cuts.
After he left his studies, Escher traveled through Spain and Italy (where he met and married Jetta Umiker). The couple settled in Rome, but Mussolini and eventually World War II forced them to move around until they settled in the Netherlands. The inclement weather offered few opportunities for distraction and forced him to focus on his art. The next 25 years became the most productive time of his life.
Escher’s art reflects a love for the order and structure of architecture and the beauty and form of shapes and shadows. Some of his work borders on the bizarre, reflecting fantasies and perspectives that seem to challenge (and sometimes disturb) the mind. As a whole, however, his work continues to inspire and invite the viewer to embrace the strange yet beautiful world of M. C. Escher.