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Arts and Crafts

Friday, May 07, 2010

About Maurits Escher

Maurits Cornelis Escher, also nicknamed "Mauk", was born on June 17th, 1898 in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands. He was the youngest of three sons of George Arnold Escher who was a civil engineer and his second wife, Sara Gleichman.

Because of Maurits' health, the family moved to Zandvoort where he attended a special school due to his illness. In 1903 the family moved to Arnhem where Maurits attended primary and secondary school. He took carpentry and piano lessons from the age of seven until the age of thirteen.

His grades were not good and even though he was excellent in drawing, he failed his final exams and never officially graduated.

The family moved to Oosterbeek, Holland in 1917 and in 1918 Mauk started private lessons and studies in architecture at the Higher Technology School in Delft. He was rejected for military duty in 1919 as a result of his poor health.

Escher moved to Haarlem and began the study of "the graphic and decorative arts" in the fall of 1919 at the Haarlem School of Architecture and Decorative Arts. He applied himself entirely to decorative arts and left school in 1922.

He started traveling to Italy and Spain and during one of his travels he met Jetta Umiker. The couple got married on June 12th, 1924 in Viareggio, Italy, bought a house which was still under construction in Frascati and finally moved in during October, 1925.

In June, 1926 their first son George was born and the little family purchased a larger home where their family grew with the birth of another son: Arthur, born on December 8th, 1928. They moved to Chateau-d'Oex, Switzerland in August of 1935, then relocated In mid-1937 to Ukkel, a suburb of Brussels, Belgium, where their third son Jan was born on March 6th, 1938.

They remained there until 1941 and then moved to Baarn. Jetta never liked living in Baarn and she moved back to Switzerland in 1968, while Maurits stayed in Baarn until 1970. He then moved to a new apartment in a retirement home for artists; the Rosa Spier House in Laren, the Netherlands. His health had been declining and he already had undergone several surgeries.

His health kept on deteriorating and Maurits Escher died in Laren on March 27th, 1972 at the age of 73.

See also:
Maurits Escher's Work
Maurits Escher's Economical Impact

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