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Mondrian Painting Description Language interpreter

Project description

MPDL interpreter for Python


MPDL (Mondrian Painting Description Language) is an esoteric language created by Arnaud Marguerat to describe Piet Mondrian abstract paintings.


MPDL operates on a stack of rectangles and outputs a square image. The stack is initialised with a single rectangle filling the whole image. There are 3 commands:

  1. v<integer 0-100>: Pop a rectangle and split it vertically at the position given by the argument as percentage, rounded down. Push the left and right rectangles, in this order.

  2. h<integer 0-100>: Split horizontally. Push the top and bottom rectangles, in this order.

  3. c<integer 1-4>: Pop a rectangle and paint it a colour:

    • 1: white

    • 2: red

    • 3: blue

    • 4: yellow

Rectangles are drawn with a black border.


The sample program:

v25 h71 v93 h50 c4 c1 c1 c2 h71 c3 h44 c1 c1

run with canvas size 256px and border width 3px, outputs


How to install

Installing from distribution

It’s usually easiest to get the package from the pip repository:

pip install mpdl

Installing from source

To install from source, clone the source repo and run the setup script:

git clone
cd mpdl-py
pip install -e .

Running the tests

Run tests in the root directory with:


To generate a coverage report:

py.test --cov --cov-branch --cov-report=term-missing

How to use


mpdl [-o OUT] [-s SIZE] [-b BORDER] path/to/source_file.mpdl

Outputs an ASCII PPM image with colour depth 1.


  • -o: Path to output file. Default out.ppm.

  • -s: Side length of square image in pixels. Default 256.

  • -b: Thickness of rectangle borders in pixels. Default 3.


MIT. See LICENSE file.



mpdl-py is developed by Leopold T. de Gaillande.

Language author

MPDL is the work of Arnaud Marguerat.


Project details

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mpdl-1.0.0.tar.gz (12.8 kB view hashes)

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