From the early nineteenth century onwards, the depiction and analysis of mosque architecture by Europeans, central to the Western discovery of the lands of Islam, has been heavily shaped by Orientalist visual constructs. From the exoticized but scenographic environments depicted by Orientalist painters to the later “scientific” and technical drawings produced by archaeologists and historian, the representation of mosque architecture has had deep impact on disciplinary understandings of these buildings. To trace this effect, this paper will analyze the evolution and reproduction of the plans of five historical mosques through their publication in several of the canonical survey texts of Islamic architecture produced by Western scholars in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Through this study of the shifts in each building’s representation, the paper will argue for a relationship between the purification and isolation of the drawing and the translation of the mosque into an idealized and timeless monument. Articulating this connection highlights the gaps of knowledge reproduced with these canonical texts and their impacts on the discipline of architecture.