On 31 May 1919 M.C. Escher was determined unfit for military service. As a result, his plan to finish his secondary school exams, which he had failed the year before, could not be executed. While in service he would start his engineering studies in Delft, but due to this rejection, he would never be able to take exams there.
Since he lacked the interest to become an architect, this didn’t bother him too much. He was an artist, that became increasingly clear to him. Escher switched to the School for Architecture and Decorative Arts in Haarlem. Within a week, he met the graphic artist Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita, under whose influence his artistic future would truly begin. Tree is a woodcut from this period. The print shows that the young printmaker was searching for his own style. Struggling with the material, just like the branches from the tree.