Only those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible.

-M. C. Escher

Metamorphosis I, 1937 Woodcut

Self-Portrait, 1929 Lithograph

M. C. Escher

Maurits Cornelis Escher was a prolific artist. His work ignites the imagination and often defies any traditional understanding of dimensional space while also demonstrating mathematical precision. He lived from June 17, 1898 until March 27, 1972, and spent the majority of his life exploring various aspects of art. While not an accomplished student in early childhood, Escher later studied mathematics and did original research on tessellation. Learn more and view a gallery of Escher's incredible work at the official site:

This page was created by me, Jess Mear, as a part of Free Code Camp's tribute site project. All opinions on this page are my own and not intended to reflect the opinions of M. C. Escher or his estate.

Reptiles, 1943 Lithograph


This was one of the first Escher pieces that caught my attention as a child. Organic, mathematical, precise, and beautiful - there is an incredibly intricate world in that smallish drawing. The reptiles seem to move, marching in and out of the paper without ever stopping their strange parade.

Sun and Moon,
1948 Woodcut in blue, red, yellow and black, printed from 4 blocks

Sun and Moon

Sun and Moon is my favorite of the really colorful works of Escher. The foreground-background convergence paired with tessellation creates a fascinating image. I find new things every time I study it. There is symmetry, but not quite, and all those identical birds, except when you look carefully, they are actually quite different. The ringed planet in the night catches me by surprise, and the whole thing seems almost ready to spring alive with motion.

Curl-up, 1951 Lithograph


The little creatures in Curl-up are fun and weird and scary and silly. Mechanical-ish insect bodies with buggy eyes and people-feet doing a roll-over are a delight, apparently ready to carry on right off the edge of the paper.

Waterfall, 1961 Lithograph


Waterfall brings together so many different aspects of Escher's work. His joy in nature is found in the little wild garden full of bizarre plant life and the tiered background landscape. The geometry of the solids at the top of the two pillars explores symmetry, and the believable structure of the building shows how excellent Escher was with perspective. The ordinary people doing laundry or just taking a quiet moment are juxtaposed with an endlessly looping, impossible river. I absolutely love examining this piece and exploring each tiny detail.