He was the son of civil engineer, George Arnold Escher and his wife, Sarah Gliechman. Maurits Cornelius Escher was born on June 17th, 1898 in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands.
Escher attended secondary school from 1912 until 1918. Excelled in art, but received poor grades in all other subjects. Escher attended Harlem School of Architecture and Ornamental Design where he was taught by S. Jessurun de Mesquita. Mesquita introduced Escher to many different printing techniques over the course of their acquaintance. By the time Escher left Harlem, he had become proficient in optical illusion art and woodcutting.
Op art is short for “Optical Art”, a form of art which exploits the fallibility of the eye, through the use of optical illusions. Some famous Op Artists include Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley.
After finishing his schooling, Escher took to traveling. He often would travel – on foot – across the Italian countryside, which he found to be hugely inspirational. Escher’s best years were spent in Italy.
The Late 50’s and 60’s was when Escher finally started getting serious attention for his artwork. The time he spent in the Netherlands gave him the focus to create such popular marvels such as Ascending and Descending, and Knots.
In 1970.Escher moved to an artist retirement home called the Rosa-Spier house, located in the northern Netherlands. He remained at the home until he died of old age on the 27th of March, 1972, at the age of 73. He left behind three sons.