Famous ‘Pink Mosque’ beauty defies description

Photo: Abbas Arabzadeh

Morning light streams though the east windows of Nasir al-Mulk Mosque (“The Pink Mosque”) in Shiraz, Iran. For several more spectacular photos of this kaleidoscopic scene, see the Huffington Post’s “Nasir al-Mulk ‘Pink Mosque’ Of Iran Is Like Stepping Into A Kaleidoscope.” I promise they’ll take your breath away.

10 thoughts on “Famous ‘Pink Mosque’ beauty defies description

  1. Islamic art appears to be composed of designs derived from geometry and nature (leaves and flowers). It is colorful but it seems discordant to me, more like a kaleidoscope than real art. Also, I miss the human form which of course is prevalent in Christian art. Depiction not only of human beings but of all living things is discouraged by the Quran (and of Allah, Mohammad, or Mohammad’s family strictly prohibited). The reason given is to discourage idolatry. They may have a point. One of the most common of Christian images is that of Jesus, a very consistent one, and of course there is absolutely no foundation for it, nor any description of his visage in the bible that I’m aware of.

    I’ve never taken an art history course but it seems to me that all religions use art as an important element in reinforcing their members’ faith. Seeing is an important element of believing. So, here’s one of the many strange thoughts in my head: has any important religion been founded since the invention of photography?

    1. I’ve read the intent with most religious structures is to instill reverence. Certainly some of the world’s most beautiful structures are houses of worship of all kinds. I read another article about this mosque that pointed out, as you did, that depictions of Mohammad were forbidden so Muslims turned instead to the geometric intricacies we see here. You raise an interesting question about photography, imagery, etc. I’ve never taken an art history class, so can only speculate. It does seem, though, that all the world’s great religions were founded in ancient times and that those organized in modern times never achieve more than cult status. But then, I’ve never taken a class in comparative religion, either.

  2. The photographs are absolutely stunning. Actually with the exception of one, they all look computer-generated to my eye. They just don’t seem real. I’m not sure how someone kneeling there could keep their mind on the task at hand surrounded by all that.

... and that's my two cents