Recommended Reading:

This text draws on research published in the following works: Stephen Blake, Half of the World: The Social Architecture of Safavid Isfahan, 1590-1722 (Costa Mesa: Mazda Publishers, 1999), a documentary history of Isfahanís architecture and urbanism during the Safavid period, based on many primary sources not elsewhere translated into English with up-to-date bibliography; as well as the excellent chapter devoted to Islamic capitals and complexes in Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom, Islamic Arts (London: Phaidon Press, 1997). For further contextual visual analysis of Safavid architecture, see the relevant chapters in another survey by Blair and Bloom, The Art and Architecture of Islam, 1250-1800 (London and New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994) and Oleg Grabar, The Great Mosque of Isfahan (New York and London: NYU Press, 1990). A vast selection of unparalleled photographs of Isfahan are to be found in Gholam-Hosein Arabís Isfahan (Tehran: Yassavoli Publications, 2000). For thematic treatments of Persian architecture across other periods, see Nader Ardalan, The Sense of Unity: the Sufi Tradition in Persian Architecture (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1973) and Arthur Upham Pope, Persian Architecture: The Triumph of Form and Color (New York, 1965). On the political and social history of Safavid Persia, refer to The Cambridge History of Iran, vol. 6: The Timurid and Safavid Periods, eds. Peter Jackson and Laurence Lockhart (Cambridge, Eng.: Cambridge University Press, 1986) and more recently the essays published in Safavid Persia: The History and Politics of an Islamic Society, ed. Charles Melville (London: I. B. Tauris, 1996). For more information, more pictures, and study and travel suggestions: http://isfahan.anglia.ac.uk/isfahan.html