Photographer Captures the Dazzling Diverse Beauty of Iranian Mosque Ceilings

Mosque Ceiling Design

Mosques are known for the breathtaking interior art that’s contained within their walls. From the “pink mosque” to the dazzling Shah Cheragh, these places of worship have interiors awash in vibrant color and tile work so intricate that it’s hard to believe that they were created by human hand. During a trip to Iran, photographer and filmmaker James Longley visited several mosques and palaces in Isfahan, one of the historical capitals of Iran.

Each of Longley's photographs showcases a different view of an Isfahan interior, and every shot is a stunning representation of these awe-inspiring places. From royal purples to glittering golds, the ceilings and walls are completely covered in patterns of classical Persian and Islamic art. Many motifs have a mandala-like structure with a central point that radiates different shapes and hues.

While these spaces are impressive from a cropped point of view, the most incredible images result from Longley hanging back and photographing as much of the overall space that he can. In doing this, we have an immediate and overwhelming sense of what makes these places so special to be in. Longley sums it up simply in a blog post reflecting on his trip. “I could have just stayed there all day.”

During a trip to Iran, photographer James Longley captured the dazzling beauty of Isfahan mosque ceilings.

Isfahan Mosque Ceiling Photographed by James Longley Mosque Ceiling Design Isfahan Mosque Ceiling Photographed by James Longley Isfahan Mosque Ceiling Photographed by James Longley Isfahan Mosque Ceiling Photographed by James Longley Isfahan Mosque Ceiling Photographed by James Longley Isfahan Mosque Ceiling Photographed by James Longley

While he was there, Longley saw some interiors that were under restoration, like this one:

Mosque Ceiling Design

40 Pillars Palace (Chehel Sotoun)

James Longley: Website

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by James Longley.

Related Articles:

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Stunning “Pink Mosque” Bathes Early Morning Visitors in a Brilliant Kaleidoscopic Light

Modest-Looking Mosque is a Dazzling Dream Inside

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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