In my post of 4 April 2015, Continuous Lines in Escher Islamic Mosaic painting, STAGE 1, I mentioned that the original Islamic artist had deliberately created two Continuous Lines, when he could have just as easily created one, because he wanted to retain overall symmetry of design and border connections.
I stated that I had examined the design and worked out how to make a change to the border connections of lines to create one continuous line throughout the design, and this is how it’s done.
Here is the chart from STAGE 2 again, which shows the Main Continuous Line in Red and the Minor Continuous Line in Blue and the colours are also shown as the connections loop outside the Border. The change has to be done without changing the Alternate Overdraw in the main design and this is done by linking a Red Overdraw with a Blue Overdraw at the same time as linking two not overdrawn lines.
We need a crossover on the Border involving a Red loop and a Blue loop. If we part them at that junction and re-join the Red with the Blue, and then join both not overdrawn ends as well, we have united the Main and Minor continuous lines. See Below.
To show how this change is reflected in the Border, here is a before and after “Spot the difference” comparison which I have drawn.
As you can see, the difference between having two continuous lines and one is just a couple of flicks of a pen. Obviously, the artist would have known there was a one continuous line option and that he could have done it without losing any design or colouring options.
Presumably, the artists were required to retain overall symmetry above all else, including in the Border. Eric Broug has also informed me that continuous line drawing is very rare in Islamic geometric design.
I think that the Artist chose two continuous lines in the Mural Mosaic to demonstrate that he was only one step from having one line, and he made sure that the Border was drawn so that this change opportunity (which occurs on each of the four sides) was as simple as possible. He is saying “I could easily have drawn One Continuous Line ! “
After completing my research into the Escher painting, and explaining the one continuous line alternative, I realised that I needed to draw the single continuous line myself. Here it is.
This completes my five STAGES of explaining my thoughts on Escher’s terrific painting, in 1922, of the Islamic Mural Mosaic in the Alhambra. I hope you found this abstract continuous line it to be interesting and stimulating.
Finally, I would like to thank Margaret Graves, Assistant Professor of Islamic Art and Architecture at Indiana University, for her encouragement and guidance after I completed my research.