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arabesque

arabesque (ărəbĕskˈ) [key] [Fr., = Arabian], in art, term applied to any complex, linear decoration based on flowing lines. In Islamic art it was often exploited to cover entire surfaces. The arabesque in modern usage derives from a Renaissance design which was Greco-Roman in inspiration.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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