The borderline between two adjacent shapes having double functions, the act of tracing such a line is a complicated business. On either side of it, simultaneously, a recognizability takes shape.

Maurits Escher

Islamic Design. Mural Mosaic in the Alhambra, Maurits Escher.

The Alhambra, located in southern Spain, was visited by Escher in 1936. “For whole days at a time he and his wife made copies of the Moorish tessellations [mosaic patterns], and on his return home he set to work to study them closely.”1 The repeated cloning of the shape that makes up the mosaic varies in orientation and tonality but all share a common contour. “These ...

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