Maurits Cornelis Escher (Leeuwarden, June 17, 1898 – March 27, 1972 in Laren) was a Dutch mathematical artist known for his woodcuts, lithographs and mezzotints which feature impossible constructions, explorations of infinity, and tessellations.
Maurits Cornelis, or Mauk as he was to be nicknamed, was born in Leeuwarden (Friesland), the Netherlands. He was the youngest son of civil engineer George Arnold Escher and his second wife, Sarah Gleichman. In 1903, the family moved to Arnhem where he took carpentry and piano lessons until the age of thirteen.
From 1912 until 1918 he attended secondary school. Though he excelled at drawing, his grades were generally poor, and he was required to repeat the second form. In 1919 Escher attended the Haarlem School of Architecture and Decorative Arts. He briefly studied architecture, but switched to decorative arts and studied under Samuel Jesserun de Mesquita, an artist with whom he would remain friends for years. In 1922 Escher left the school, having gained experience in drawing and particularly woodcutting.