Monday, October 14, 2013

The Shah Mosque of Isfahan, Iran

During one of our Non-Western Art history classes our professor showed the class a video called "Isfahan" by Crístobal Vila. Since watching the video I started to wonder which mosque Crístobal looked at while making this video. I was extremely intrigued by the architecture especially the Entrance Arcade. I was also intrigued by the brightness of the tile work and the dome. After talking to the professor I finally found out that it was based off of The Shah Mosque. 

After further researching The Shah Mosque, I found that this mosque goes by many different names such as Shah Mosque, Masjid-e Shah, Masjid-e Imam, Royal Mosque, Mehedi Mosque, Masjid-i Shah, Mosque of Shah Abbas and Imam Mosque. The Shah Mosque of Isfahan is one of the everlasting masterpieces of architecture in Iran. Its construction began in 1611 and was completed in 1629. Much is known about the people who were involved in the mosque's construction from the inscriptions installed on the building, identify Badi' al-Zaman Tuni as responsible for the building plans and site arrangement, 'Ali Akbar Isfahani as the engineer, and Muhibb 'Ali Beg as the general contractor.  Its splendor is mainly due to the beauty of its seven-color mosaic tiles and calligraphic inscriptions that is throughout the whole Mosque. I also discovered that the designs in entrance of the mosque is called Muqarnas, this was a very decorative device in traditional Islamic and Persian architecture.

Post Research

My reaction after completing my research of The Shah Mosque is still pure amazement of the beauty and intensity of such a religious foundation. After researching I am now more informed of The Shah Mosque, and learning of the architecture and intense color. I am still extremely intrigued by the Entrance Arcade and the mosque as a whole and not a few sections. It is truly one of the many masterpieces of Islamic architecture.

Information courtesy of the following link:

Arch Net - Masjid-i Shah
Information on the Muqarnas
Photograph courtesy of:
Landscape view of The Shah Mosque
Muqarnas In The Entrance

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