M. C. Escher was a Dutch graphic artist who is known for his realistic, detailed prints that achieve bizarre optical and conceptual effects. From 1919 to 1922, Escher studied at the School of Architecture and Decorative Arts in Haarlem, where he developed an interest in graphics and worked mainly in woodcut. He spent a number of years traveling and sketching throughout Europe, living in Italy from 1922 to 1935, and then moving to Switzerland and Belgium. In his prints and drawings from this period, Escher depicted landscapes and natural forms in a fantastic fashion by using multiple, conflicting perspectives.
Escher’s mature style emerged after 1937 in a series of prints that combined meticulous realism with enigmatic optical illusions. Working in lithograph, wood engraving, and woodcut, he portrayed with great technical virtuosity impossible spaces and unexpected metamorphoses of one object into another. His images were of equal interest to mathematicians, cognitive psychologists, and the general public, and they were widely reproduced throughout the 20th century.