M. C. Escher’s art and life is a story of two worlds, tow polarities, art and mathematics coming together to artistically and aesthetically represent complex and technical theories.
Even though his work is not limited to the depiction of mathematical concepts he was lauded in the later part of his life and is celebrated posthumously for his accurate representation of infinity which he achieved by determinedly studying hyperbolic geometry.
As a child, he was never drawn to mathematics and was averse to it. In his youth, he was also told that he would not be able to achieve anything of substance or make significant contributions to the world of art either.
What a terrible loss it would have been for us all if he had not discovered the missing link that would finally latch him on to pursue mathematics or if he wasn’t as passionate about art to completely ignore the ones who cautioned him against it.
The video above opens to this line,
“The amazing thing about M. C. Escher is that he represents the perfect coming together of Mathematics and Art”
It goes to further explain the significance of Escher’s first visit to Alhambra where he was fascinated with the geometric art of tesselations. This led to a lifelong pursuit of artistic depiction of tesselations, impossible objects such as the ‘Moebius Strip’ and ‘Penrose Stairs’ as well as complex concepts like ‘Relativity’.
Using basic tools he represented space and the way it curves at the edges towards Infinity in his Circle Limit Series (Circle Limit IV) which mathematicians confirmed 40 years later that it is accurate to the last millimetre.
The patterns and the impeccable symmetry that was the result of his work of putting together Mathematics and Art have opened up visual representations of deep features of cosmology which has led many to believe that our Universe may, in fact, be Escher shaped.