Late period

Shah Mosque, Isfahan, Iran, begun 1611
Brilliantly painted manuscripts. Exquisitely detailed miniatures. Fine silks. Complex, ornate palaces. The art of the Safavids is simply magnificent.

The Safavids, an introduction

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

The Court of Gayumars

The Hagia Sophia as a mosque
After the Ottomans conquered Constantinople, the sultan repurposed this church, adding slender “pencil” minarets.

Hagia Sophia as a mosque

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

Qa’a (The Damascus room)

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

The Taj Mahal

Iznik ewer, 2nd half of the 16th century (Ottoman), fritware, painted in black, cobalt blue, green, red under transparent glaze, 17-7/8 x 15-1/2 inches / 45.4 x 39.4 cm (photo: Brooklyn Museum, CC BY 3.0)
Though made in Iznik, an Ottoman center for ceramic arts, this jug blends Chinese and Iranian design elements.

Iznik ewer

The Ardabil carpet
This wool carpet was woven for a shrine. Its dense design contains geometric patterns, floral motifs—and two lamps.

The Ardabil Carpet