Image Detail
Image Detail

Dome of the Rock, 687-692
The Dome of the Rock houses the rock where Muhammad ascended to Heaven, the site of Adam's burial, Abraham's preparation for Isaac's sacrifice to God and the site of the Temple of Solomon. It is the monument for the triumph of Islam after the Muslims took over the city from the Byzantines and marked the coming of a new religion. The structure was built by Abd al-Malik. The platform of the Dome of the Rock is the Noble Enclosure and the domed octagon closely resembles that of San Vitale.
(Erin Golotko)
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Prayer Hall of the Great Mosque (8th to 10th centuries)
The hypostle prayer hall has thirty-six piers and five hundred and fourteen columns and uses a unique system of double-tiered arches that carried a wooden roof. The additions that were added followed the original style and arrangement of columns and arches, plus the builders maintained stylistic unity for the entire buliding. The Great Mosque and it's prayer hall became one of the largest mosques in the Islamic west.
(Tara Lassi)


"Malwiya Minaret" ca. 848-852

The Malwiya, or "snail-shell," minaret is located in Samarra, Iraq. Originally linked to the Great Mosque of Samarra, this 165-foot tall minaret has a stepped-spiral ramp, which increases in slope from bottom to top. This makes it architecturally unique and appealing. It was used to announce the presence of Islam in the Tigris Valley.

(Jessica Rances)

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The Court of Gayumars (detail of folio 20 verso of the Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp) ca.1525-1535
This page was reproduced from the book Shahnama (Book of Kings). The Shahnama is the Persian national epic poem, recounting the history of Iran from the Creation until the Muslim conquest. The book contains 258 illustrations by various artists. The page above is the work of Sultan-Muhammad and depicts Gayumars, the legendary first king of Iran. In the page Gayumars looks over his court from his mountain throne. The king is surrounded by light in a golden sky. His son and grandson are sitting on multicolored areas off to the left and right. The court his encircling the ruler and his heirs. The sense of lightness and airiness that is felt from the painting is encouraged more by the placement of the page. It floats off center on a speckled background of gold leaf.~Allison Abernathy