Hand.gif (70706 bytes)Maurits Cornelis Escher 

Perhaps one of the most popular artists of all time. Escher studied art at the School of Architecture and Ornamental Design in the Netherlands. His technical mastery over the medium is evident in his many detailed renderings of surreal visions and macabre landscapes.

Despite any formal training, Escher's work often strays into the realm of science and mathematics. There is not enough space here to show all of Escher's prints. We've chosen to shown only a few of our favorites. You should explore more of this master's work.

Escher on his own work, "No matter how objective or how impersonal the majority of my subjects appear to me, so far as I have been able to discover, few if any of my fellow-men seem to react in the same way to all that they see around them."
   

Waterval - Waterfall
Lithograph, 1961
 

One of Escher's most popular prints, the endless waterfall design was inspired by R. Penroses' research on the impossible triangle.

     Escher on the Waterfall, "If we follow the various parts of this construction one by one we are unable to discover any mistake in it. Yet it is an impossible whole because changes suddenly occur in the interpretation of distance between our eye and the object. The impossible triangle is fitted three times over into the picture."

waterval.gif (71755 bytes)

mobius.gif (55519 bytes) Band van Möbius II - Mobius Strip II
A woodcut printed from three blocks, 1963

Escher on the Möbius Strip, " An endless ring-shaped band usually has two distinct surfaces, one inside and one outside. Yet on this strip nine red ants crawl after each other and travel the front side as well as the reverse side. Therefore the strip has only one surface."

You can make your own Möbius Strip. Cut out a strip of paper. Make the length and width large enough to handle easily. Twist the length once and glue the ends together. The result is a true Möbius Strip with only one endless surface.
     Place your finger on any point on the surface of the strip. Now trace along the strip in either direction with another finger. You will always end up back at the starting point because the Möbius Strip has only one surface - and no end!

desktop.gif (86179 bytes) Reptielen - Reptiles
Lithograph, 1943.

An excellent example of figure/ground reversal in the life cycle of a little lizard. The reptile emerges from the drawing pad then makes its way up and over various items on the desk before descending to merge once more into the drawing pad.

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