Arts of the Islamic World

The later period

The Blue Mosque, the Ardabil Carpet, and the Taj Mahal all date to this important period.

c. 1517 - 1924 C.E.

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Hagia Sophia as a mosque
Hagia Sophia as a mosque

After the Ottomans conquered Constantinople, the sultan repurposed this church, adding slender “pencil” minarets.

Illustration from the <em>Akbarnama</em>
Illustration from the Akbarnama

Under Akbar the Great, the Mughal style of painting blended Indian, Persian, and Western artistic traditions.

<em>The Court of Gayumars</em>
The Court of Gayumars

Producing this lush miniature involved many Persian artists—and likely some familiarity with Chinese sources.

<em>Tughra (Official Signature) of Sultan Süleiman the Magnificent</em> from Istanbul
Tughra (Official Signature) of Sultan Süleiman the Magnificent from Istanbul

The official seal of the sultan dissolves into a vibrating field of flowers, gold accents, and snaking blue lines.

Coins of faith and power at the British Museum
Coins of faith and power at the British Museum

These tiny pieces of precious metal contain a wealth of information in their Persian and Arabic inscriptions.

Qa’a (The Damascus room)
Qa’a (The Damascus room)

The sound of the fountain led guests into this 18th-century house, where a vibrant interior stimulated ear and eye.

Mimar Sinan, Süleymaniye Mosque, Istanbul
Mimar Sinan, Süleymaniye Mosque, Istanbul

This mosque was the crowning achievement of architect Sinan’s career and a trophy of Ottoman imperial grandeur.

Mimar Sinan, Rüstem Pasha Mosque, Istanbul
Mimar Sinan, Rüstem Pasha Mosque, Istanbul

Unlike other of Sinan’s mosques, this one is covered with tiles, sits above shops, and is accessed from a stairway.

<em>Khusraw Discovers Shirin Bathing</em>
Khusraw Discovers Shirin Bathing

Two famous lovers meet in this miniature—as do Persian and European painting traditions.

The Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal

This huge white-marble mausoleum is recognized the world over for its splendor, symmetry, and stunning gardens.

<em>Divination Bowl with Inscriptions and Zodiac Signs</em>
Divination Bowl with Inscriptions and Zodiac Signs

The different motifs on this bowl—some Persian, others adapted from ancient Greece—relate to Safavid-era practices.

Iznik ewer
Iznik ewer

Though made in Iznik, an Ottoman center for ceramic arts, this jug blends Chinese and Iranian design elements.

Selected Contributors | The later period