sheikh lotfollah (or lutfallah or lotf allah) mosque, isfahan, iran,
architect: muhammad reza ibn ustad hosein banna isfahani.
consider the cool geometric mastery and inventiveness behind the ornamental incrustation of the dome.
sheila blair and jonathan bloom write, "the apex of the dome is filled with a giant sunburst, from which descend tiers of ogival medallions filled with floral motifs, which swell in size with the curve of the dome". I like this description even if I had to look up ogival.
pope wrote, less objectively, "the chamber is entirely empty. any appurtenances would have been superfluous and quite overwhelmed by the powerful forms and commanding colors. this is pure architecture, flawless and serene, and still as perfect as on the day of dedication three hundred years ago". guess he liked it. this language is very typical of pope's introductions and (apart from the word appurtenance) it doesn't teach you much.
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