Arabesque

A flowing, curvilinear decoration in borders, marginal decorations, and some initials, inspired by Islamic art.

Arabesque is a term used to describe flowing, curvilinear manuscript decorations inspired by Arabic calligraphy and art forms. Arabesques imitate branches, leaves, or other vegetation, and they are found in borders, marginal decoration, and some initials.

  • Arabic:
    توريق
  • French:
    arabesque
  • Italian:
    rabesco; arabesco
  • Portuguese:
    arabesco
  • Spanish:
    arabesco

Michelle Brown, Understanding Illuminated Manuscripts (Malibu, CA: J. Paul Getty Museum in association with the British Library, c1994).