Maurits Cornelis Escher was born in 1898 in Leeuwarden. His drawing and graphic skills can be traced back to his schooldays, and in particular to the influence of his teacher F. W. van der Haagen. After leaving school he spent three years at the School of Architecture and Ornamental Design in Haarlem. The graphic skills he had discovered at secondary school were further developed here under the dynamic S. Jesserun de Mesquita. He lived in Italy for ten years after 1922 and from there he visited numerous places as part of his studies – these included Spain as well as many towns in Italy itself. After leaving Italy in 1934 and going to Switzerland and Belgium, he settled in Baarn, Holland in 1941. He died in 1972 at the age of 73.
In contrast to the exclusive use of abstract geometric forms in Islamic ornamentation, Escher was looking mainly for representational motifs (such as fish, birds, reptiles or humans) even for his division of planes. The background of ‘Encounter’ shows a wall on which black, long nosed and white, grinning men form a perfectly interlocking surface. In front of this surface we can see a gaping, circular hole around which the little men emerge marching from the wall surface. They seem to be looking for solid ground, albeit only drawn. So the black man, stooping lower, makes his way along the left side, whilst the white man moves to the right of the illusory abyss, until they meet. Escher’s own comment on the scene in the foreground illustrates his fondness of dualities: “Here a white optimist and a black pessimist meet and shake each other by the hand”. According to Escher, all contrasts have to be consciously accepted as enrichment and an inspiration in the real world, in the same way that a graphic artist accepts the fundamental contrast between blak and white in his work. A similarity was noticed by Escher’s agent between the little white man and the popular Dutch prime minister Colijn, but to what extent this was intended by the artist remains open to speculation.
Thesis: The lives of black women have always been a mirror image to Cinderella, but it has never been recognized. And black men only see white women as Cinderella! |s. She compares Scarlet O! | Hara to the evil step sisters and compares Butterfly McQueen to Cinderella. 1950 Disney movie Cinderella shows only white women can turn into princesses. - Twist on ABC/ Disney T. V. movie is that the ...
His visits to the Alhambra had acquainted Escher with Moorish architecture and design. Inspired by Moorish wall and floor mosaics, Escher had been preoccupied since the late 1930s with the ‘regular division of planes’. This term refers to a graphic division of the drawing area by means of forms which are repeated cyclically. Like ‘Encounter’, the lithograph ‘Reptiles’ is a narrative continuation of the series of ‘regular plane shapes’. From the lower edge of a sketch pad covered with stylized, reptile like figures, an increasingly three dimensional reptile emerges. It crawls from the sketchpad up over a zoology book and laboriously climbs via a set-square onto the top of a dodecahedron where it emits a puff of smoke from its nostrils. It then makes its way back via a mortar-like vessel and gradually becomes reintegrated into the flat surface of the sketch pad, where it once again becomes part of the in corporeal state of the schematized animal ornament. Escher called ‘division of planes’ his ‘richest source of inspiration’. Here he illustrates the suggestive possibilities which a graphic artist can use with three-dimensional depiction.
A considerable part of Escher’s oeuvre is constituted by the depiction of realistically, i.e. representational, constructed but unreal spatial situations. In ‘Belvedere’ Escher depicts a cubic construction which is open on all sides, extends over three levels, and affords views over a barren, hilly landscape. The absurdity of his construction is illustrated by the sketch and the model of a cube that command the attention of the young man sitting on the building’s terrace. The vertical axes do not correspond to the unambiguous spatial consistency of the horizontal lines for they appear to be in front as well as behind, therefore representing two different views or realities. In the building this inconsistency is echoed by the conflicting depiction of the supporting pillars: while for example the shaft of one pillar is situated on the balustrade at the back, its capital serves also as a support for the wall arch at the front, and vice versa. This absurdity is further emphasized by the movement of individual figures within the picture: thus the ladder, which two figures are using to climb from the central to the top-level of the building, is standing under the covered roof but is leaning against the outside edge at the top.
Though M.C. Escher contended that he knew virtually nothing about mathematics, even having gone as far as to declare that he was ?absolutely innocent of training or knowledge in the exact sciences,? (Schattschneider 67), his art work commonly incorporates the use of many recognized elements of science and mathematics. It has been argued that Escher?s natural accessibility and his popularity with ...
In this picture Escher exploits a powerful tool of the fine arts, and a concept that was finally mastered in the Renaissance by means of geometry: that of a perspective that can be calculated and therefore constructed in a drawing. At first glance the viewer seems to be confronted by some kind of staircase scene populated by uniformly faceless figures The spatial situation of each single figure appears quite clear. But the play with spatial perspective and the optical confusion begin whenever the viewer tries to gain an overall picture, an unambiguous perspective. He is soon confounded when he realizes that the figures are denied a common perspective, even if they are depicted in close proximity: while one surface, for instance, forms the ceiling for one figure that same surface is the floor for another. The rule of central perspective calls for a vanishing point in accordance with which all horizontal lines have to be laid out. By establishing three vanishing points, which are moreover placed outside the actual picture, Escher creates as it were three independent though related worlds. Despite the fact that they appear to be inviolably linked architectonically, they remain rationally incompatible with each other because of our experience of the real world.