1st Edition

Arabesque without End Across Music and the Arts, from Faust to Shahrazad

Edited By Anne Leonard Copyright 2022
    250 Pages 84 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    250 Pages 84 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Featuring multidisciplinary research by an international team of leading scholars, this volume addresses the contested aspects of arabesque while exploring its penchant for crossing artistic and cultural boundaries to create new forms. Enthusiastically imported from its Near Eastern sources by European artists, the freely flowing line known as arabesque is a recognizable motif across the arts of painting, music, dance, and literature. From the German Romantics to the Art Nouveau artists, and from Debussy’s compositions to the serpentine choreographies of Loïe Fuller, the chapters in this volume bring together cross-disciplinary perspectives to understand the arabesque across both art historical and musicological discourses.

    Introduction: The Arabesque Aesthetic

    Anne Leonard

    Chapter 1: Spatchcocking the Arabesque: Big Books, Industrial Design, and the Captivation of Islamic Art and Architecture

    Margaret S. Graves

    Chapter 2: Poet, Artist, Arabesque: On Peter Cornelius’s Illustrations to Goethe’s Faust

    David E. Wellbery

    Chapter 3: The Lithographer’s Mark and the Magic of Synchrony

    Cordula Grewe

    Chapter 4: The Decorative Line of the Nabis: Expressivity and Mild Subversion

    Clément Dessy

    Chapter 5: Ephemeral Arabesque Timbres and the Exotic Feminine

    Gurminder Kaur Bhogal

    Chapter 6: Arabesque in French Music after Debussy

    Stephanie Venturino

    Chapter 7: Drawing a Line with the Body

    Juliet Bellow

    Chapter 8: About An Arabesque

    Jonah Bokaer


    Anne Leonard is Manton Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts. She is co-editor of The Routledge Companion to Music and Visual Culture and author of The Tragic Muse: Art and Emotion, 17001900.