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© Belén Pena.  1878 Maurits Cornelis Escher is born 17 June in Leeuwarden, in the northern Dutch province of Friesland  1916 Makes his first print.

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Presentation on theme: "© Belén Pena.  1878 Maurits Cornelis Escher is born 17 June in Leeuwarden, in the northern Dutch province of Friesland  1916 Makes his first print."— Presentation transcript:

1 © Belén Pena


3  1878 Maurits Cornelis Escher is born 17 June in Leeuwarden, in the northern Dutch province of Friesland  1916 Makes his first print while attending secondary school in Arnhem  1919 - 22 Enters School for Architecture and Decorative Arts, Haarlem. Transfers from the architectural program to study printmaking, particularly woodcut, under Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita (1868-1944). Decided to become a graphic artist.  1922 - 35 In the spring 1922, travels to Italy and is deeply impressed by the hillside towns. Settles in Rome in 1924. Sketches countryside in summer, then develops drawings into prints in winter.

4 © Belén Pena  1924 - 38 Marries Jetta Umiker on 12 June, 1924, in Viareggio, Italy. Three sons are born of their marriage: George (23 July, 1926), Arthur (8 December, 1928), and Jan (6 March, 1938).  1929 Does his first lithograph.  1931 Begins to make wood engravings, which require a harder, end-grained woodblock, permitting finer lines.  1935 Leaves Rome to escape the rising tide of Fascism; moves to Switzerland.  1936 Visits La Mezquita mosque in Córdoba and revisits the Alhambra in Granada (First visit in 1922).

5 © Belén Pena  1937 - 41 Moves to Uccle, near Brussels  1941 Returns to the Netherlands; settles in Baarn.  1941 - 45 Slows artistic production during Second World War  1946 Does his first mezzotint.  1946 - 54 Works mainly on tessellations.  1954 His exhibition in 1954 at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, organized to coincide with the International Congress of Mathematicians, initiates contact with the scientific world.

6 © Belén Pena  1958 - 59 Publication of Escher's books The Regular Division of the Plane and The Graphic Work of M.C. Escher.  1966 - 67 Lends copies of his prints to Haags Gemeentemuseum, The Hague.  1970 - 72 Moves to the Rosa Spier House in Laren, Netherlands. Dies 27 March, 1972, in Hilversum, Netherlands. BIOGRAFY FROM: M.C. Escher Mindscapes. National Gallery of Canada life01_e.jsp

7  Early work from 1916 – 1922  Italian Period from 1922 – 1935  Switzerland and Belgium 1935-1941  Back in Holland 1941 – 1954  Recognition and Success 1955-1972 © Belén Pena

8  M. C. Escher is a master of graphic arts and the optical illusion. His work also displays a kind of hyper-realism, where all parts of the picture are in tight focus, from close up to far away.  While certain schools of art history may not teach Escher as a great artist, his popularity gives him enormous educational leverage to teach topics such as photo-realism, hyper realism, lithography, illustration, and surrealism.  Escher’s work shows how art can be enhanced by math, and vice versa  Brings depth to mathematics  Helps us understand geometry

9 © Belén Pena







16  Perspective (slides 17 to 27)  Impossible objects  Undestanding perspective  Perspective throughout Art History (a changing idea)  Optical illussions (slides 27 to 30)  Anamorphosis  The picture within a picture  Deconstructing perspective? (slides 31 to 33)  Escher´s epigones? (slide 34) © Belén Pena


18 Staircase at Hogwarts (Harry Potter) Staircase perspective Carceri d' Invenzione Giovanni Battista Piranesi

19 overlappingdisminution vertical perspective linear perspective intuitive perspective divergent (reverse) perspective orthogonals One pointTwo points atmospheric perspective diagonal perspective horizon linevanishing point © Belén Pena

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24 Velázquez's Las Meninas s/arth/arth200/artist/las_meninas.html  

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34 Julián Beewer  julian-beever-interview-a-moment- with-the-pavement-picasso.html  Kurt Wenner street.htm  Manfred Stader http://www.3d-street-

35  “ A menudo me encuentro más cerca de los matemáticos que de mis colegas los artistas ”.  “ Todos mis trabajos son juegos. Juegos serios”.  “Only those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible. I think it's in my basement... let me go upstairs and check.”  “Esta mañana estuve en la Alhambra. Disfruté plenamente de esta sublime y aristocrática obra de arte. Por la tarde, regresé allí otra vez y empecé a copiar los adornos mayólicos”. M.C. Escher © Belén Pena

36  "What is really so fascinating about graphic processes? What is that strange power of attraction that keeps its hold on the graphic artist, which is the reason he specializes to such an extent that, as a rule, he does not engage in any other form of art? There are, I believe, three elements that are an inherent part of this fascination: 1. desire for multiplication, 2. beauty of the craft, 3. forced limitations resulting from the technique." (Escher, in Escher, 1989) M.C. Escher © Belén Pena

37  "I inherited from my teacher [Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita] his predilection for side-grain wood… During the first seven years of my time in Italy I used nothing else. It lends itself, better than the costly end- grained wood, to large-sized figures. In my youthful recklessness I have gouged away at enormous pieces of pearwood, not far short of three feet in length and perhaps two feet wide." (Escher, 1971)  “ Mathematicians have theoretically mapped out the regular division of a plane because this is part of crystallography. Does it therefore belong exclusively to mathematics? I do not think so …" (Escher, in Escher, 1989) M.C. Escher © Belén Pena

38  "A plane, which one must imagine as extending without boundaries in all directions, can be filled or divided into infinity, according to a limited number of systems, with similar geometric figures that are contiguous on all sides without leaving 'empty spaces'." (Escher in Escher, 1989)  “Many of the bright-coloured, tile-covered walls and floors of the palaces of the Alhambra in Spain show us that the Moors were masters in the art of filling a plane with similar, interlocking figures, bordering on one another without gaps. Japanese artists also produced some excellent examples of these curious patterns. What a pity that the religion of the Moors forbade them to make images!” © Belén Pena M.C. Escher

39  “Although I am even now still a layman in the area of mathematics and lack theoretical knowledge, the mathematicians, and in particular the crystallographers, have had considerable influence on my work of the last twenty years. The laws of the phenomena around us -order, regularity, cyclical repetitions, and renewals- have assumed greater and greater importance for me. The awareness of their presence gives me peace and provides me with support. I try in my prints to testify that we live in a beautiful and orderly world, and not in a formless chaos, as it sometimes seems." (Escher in Escher, 1989)  “ The laws of mathematics are not merely human inventions or creations. They simply ‘are’; they exist quite independently of the human intellect. The most that any(one)... can do is to find that they are there and to take cognizance of them..” M.C. Escher © Belén Pena

40  “The reality around us, the three-dimensional world surrounding us, is too common, too dull, too ordinary for us. We hanker after the unnatural or supernatural, that which does not exist, a miracle. As if that everyday reality isn't enigmatic enough!… It can happen that we become receptive to the unexplainable, to the miracle that surrounds us continuously." (Escher in Escher, 1989)  “I'm starting to speak a language which is understood by very few people. It makes me feel increasingly lonely. After all, I no longer belong anywhere. The mathematicians may be friendly and interested and give me a fatherly pat on the back, but in the end I'm only a bungler to them. 'Artistic' people mainly become irritated." M.C. Escher © Belén Pena

41  “ I'm engrossed again in the study of an illustration which I came across in a publication of the Canadian professor H.S.M. Coxeter, of Ottawa (whom I met in Amsterdam some time ago), A Symposium on Symmetry. I am trying to glean from it a method for reducing a plane-filling motif which goes from the centre of a circle out to the edge, where the motifs will be infinitely close together. His hocus-pocus text is no use to me at all, but the picture can probably help me to produce a division of the plane which promises to become an entirely new variation of my series of divisions of the plane." (Escher in Locher, 1992) M.C. Escher © Belén Pena


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