• By Kanae Seino

The World of M. C. Escher


“The World of M. C. Escher” exhibition was held at Sapporo Art Park from September 3 to October 16 last year. It was surprising to see many males and females people of all ages there. The general admission fee for adults was 1,300 yen.

The admission fee for high school and college student was 700 yen, and 500 yen for junior high school students. Elementary school students and small children accompanied by a guardian were free.

Besides viewing many art works by Escher at this exhibition, you could also learn many things about him and buy some souvenirs. As you may know, Escher is one of the most famous graphic designers in the world. He made a lot of masterpieces beloved by many people regardless of age, gender or nationality.

For example, his masterpieces include Metamorphosis I, II and III, Sky and Water, Drawing Hands, Waterfall and otherworldly creations. He began by drawing landscapes because he was fascinated by the Italian scenery and buildings when he lived there, but he is mostly known for his unusual drawings more than his landscape work.

Why did he start to make these unusual and unique drawings? According to this exhibition, it is because he was fascinated by the regular Division of the Plane when he saw the elaborate tiles in the Alhambra, a fourteen century Moorish castle in Granada, Spain.

Escher was born in the Netherlands and in his early years studied printing as an apprentice to Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita. After graduating, he went to Italy with his friends when he was 23 years old. He was very happy in Italy, and it was there that he met his wife Jetta Umiker.

Unfortunately, in 1935, he unwillingly left Italy with his family because of the rise of fascism, and he and his family moved to Switzerland, Belgium and Holland in succession. However, he the scenery and buildings there held no fascination for him, so he decided to abandon landscape drawing.

Instead, he began to create so-called impossible constructions in earnest. According to mathematicians, Escher’s works uses very difficult mathematics to create things that seem ordinary. However, strangely enough, he was very weak in mathematics as a student.

So how he could make such complicate drawings? One reasons was that he referred to crystallography to make his works at the suggestion of his brother who was a geologic professor. In addition, he was good at drawing three dimensions from two dimensional objects since childhood.

If you have an interest learning more about Escher, his life and art, you should check out the official M. C. Escher website at http://www.mcescher.com.