The first meaning of arabesque that mentions the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE ) refers to the adjective Arabic : linked to Arabia . The most common use of the concept, however, is associated with a specific class of ornamentation .
An arabesque, in this sense, is a ornament which is characterized by its peculiar patterns and their geometric forms . The name is related to the traditional decorative elements that are used in mosques and other Arab buildings.
The arabesque, which is often used in valances or guards and in baseboards, appeals to ribbons , leaf litter , tracerías and other resources to achieve its aesthetic effect. Sometimes, in addition to leaves, mimics the shape of certain animals or fruits .
Despite its connection with the islamic art , the arabesques were already used by the Assyrians, the Romans, the ancient Egyptians and the Greeks. Then they became popular in the Renaissance , which led the style far and wide of Europe .
In Spain we can find several examples of arabesque in the decoration of certain constructions, such as the Alhambra in Granada and the Mosque of Cordoba. In Seville, the facade of its Alcazar exposes the use of arabesques in the art Mudejar, an artistic style developed by the Christians of the Iberian Peninsula with Muslim influences, both in terms of materials and elements.
Speaking of European art in general, in ancient Rome the arabesques were used to paint the facades of their palaces and public buildings, in addition to their graves. The symbology used in these cases was not arbitrary, but indicated the use that the monuments in question would receive. It is worth mentioning that the fall of the Empire led to the almost total disappearance of this type of decorations .
Although the designs and color palettes have a great variety, it is possible to distinguish three constants in all these examples of arabesques: in the lower region, a basement wide with few ornaments and dark red; in its middle part, a frame, usually yellow; above, a frieze with a large number of compositions of great delicacy on a white background to increase the contrast.
The term arabesque also appears in other contexts beyond the ornamental. In the field of music , a is called arabesque composition whose shape has a harmonic and melodic decorative style.
The musical compositions that enter this group are characterized by generating the image of a sinuous curve with a constant movement of incoming and outgoing , which results from the combination of parts in continuous movement and arpeggios that articulate the melodies. One of the most prominent examples of arabesque is the suite entitled Two arabesques, composed by Claude Debussy for piano and published at the end of the 19th century.
It is believed that the use of this word to describe this musical line was Schumann's idea, in his piano piece op. 18, freely. Given the decorative style of his harmony and of its melody, which in the West was reminiscent of the music of the Arab countries, to name it Arabesque It seemed more than adequate. It is important to note that Arabic music has no relation to this type of composition, at least not a direct link.
"Arabesque" On the other hand, it is the title with which the film was known in our language "Arabesque" , released in 1966 . This film, directed by Stanley Donen , has the leading performances of Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren . In the history , an Egyptologist who has the mission of deciphering a hieroglyph is involved in a dangerous conflict of powers.