Photographer Captures the Dazzling Diverse Beauty of Iranian Mosque Ceilings

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.

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

40 Pillars Palace (Chehel Sotoun)

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