gazette inspiration collector / on space


plate1:Planisphere (mechanism) of Ptolemy, of the heavenly orbits following the hypothesis of Ptolemy laid out in a planar view plate3:Scenography of the planetary orbits encompassing the Earth plate4:Planisphere of Copernicus, or the system of the entire created universe according to the hypothesis of Copernicus exhibited in a planar view plate5:Scenography of the Copernican world system plate6:Planisphere of Brahe, or the structure of the universe following the hypothesis of Tycho Brahe drawn in a planar view. plate10:The sizes of the celestial bodies [in some copies the terrestrial sphere has the continents drawn in by hand] plate15:The (astrological) aspects, such as opposition, conjunction, etc., among the planets plate19:Selenographic diagram depicting the varying phases and appearances of the Moon by (means of) shading plate21:Representation (of the motions) of Venus and Mercury plate26:Northern stellar hemisphere, with the terrestrial hemisphere lying underneath

Harmonia Macrocosmica

by Andreas Cellarius

The publication of Andreas Cellarius’ Harmonia Macrocosmica in 1660 forms the final chapter of an ambitious cartographic project initiated 25 years earlier by the Amsterdam publisher Johannes Janssonius (1588-1664), namely, the publication of an ATLAS in several volumes which described not only the surface of the Earth but the whole of Creation, including the cosmos and its history.

The seeds of this plan had been sown nearly a century earlier by the renowned cartographer Gerard Mercator. In 1569, in the foreword to his Chronologia, Mercator stated his intention to publish an all-encompassing “cosmography”. A multi-volume atlas that would describe not only ancient and modern geography, but also the seas, the cities of the world, the firmament and chronology. Mercator published the first four volumes of his atlas between 1585 and 1589, with a supplementary fifth volume being published by his son Rumold (c. 1545-1599) in 1595.

Following Mercator’s death, his project was taken up by a succession of publishers, but it would be Johannes Janssonius who finally turned it into reality. In 1636 Janssonius and Henricus Hondius published the first version of their Novus Atlas, featuring some 320 maps in four languages. In 1650 Janssonius added a fifth volume, a nautical atlas with supplemental maps of the eastern hemisphere. A further volume was published between 1658 and 1662 and included the cartography of the ancient world.

With the addition of Andreas Cellarius’ Harmonia Macrocosmica in 1660 and an eight-volume compilation describing a number of cities (published in 1657), Janssonius’ “description of the world” - in the meantime entitled the Novus Atlas absolutissimus - was now complete in terms of the form originally envisioned by Mercator almost 100 years previously. In the foreword to his celestial atlas, which he dedicates to the English king Charles II, Andreas Cellarius explains that he originally drafted the plates and celestial maps contained within it solely for his own use, and for lovers of astronomy, but that after repeated appeals from the publisher, he had decided to make them available to a wider public.

a slide show on youtube

wikipedia: The first part of the ATLAS contains copper plate prints depicting the world systems of Claudius Ptolemy, Nicolaus Copernicus and Tycho Brahe. At the end are star maps of the classical and Christian constellations, the latter ones as introduced by Julius Schiller in his Coelum Stellatum Christianum of 1627. Because the atlas also contained plates supporting the then popular view of the Catholic Church, the book was not placed on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum...


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