M. C. Escher and His Tessellations

Meredith Buescher

M. C. Escher was born in 1898 and died in 1972. During his lifetime, he was one of the world's most famous graphic artists.

He is famous for things like his "Impossible Structures" and "Transformation Prints". "Impossible Structures" includes pieces like Ascending and Descending and Relativity. Some "Transformation Prints" include Metamorphosis I, II, and III, Sky and Water I, and Reptiles.

Escher has also made more realistic work, illustrated books, designed tapestries, postage stamps, and murals.

Architecture, perspective, and impossible spaces are some of the things he played with to create his drawings. His work is fascinating and continues to amaze people all over the world.


There are three types of transformations. One of the three most common transformations of a tessellation is a reflection. A shape that is reflected means that it is flipped to the left or right over the "y" axis. It can also be flipped to the top or bottom over the "x" axis. Another transformation is called translation. A shape that is translated is slid or moved to another place. Translation doesn't change how the shape looks, just the place it is located. The last common transformation is rotation. A shape that is rotated is turned around a central point that does not move.