June 13, 2008

Cellarius' Celestial Atlas, Harmonia macrocosmica

cellarius_celestial_bodies.jpg

Christie's is calling Andreas Cellarius' Harmonia macrocosmica "PROBABLY THE FINEST CELESTIAL ATLAS EVER PUBLISHED." But then, they would; they have a first edition from 1660 they're hoping will sell for $80-120k next week.

Cellarius compiled the celestial maps of Ptolemy, Copernicus, and Tycho Brahe into one exquisitely illustrated volume which was reprinted first in 1661, then after Cellarius' death in 1708, and in a couple of contemporary re-editions up to and including Taschen's reproduction.

Plate 10 [above]: CORPORUM COELESTIUM MAGNITUDINES - The sizes of the celestial bodies.
Plate 17 [below]: SOLIS CIRCA ORBEM TERRARUM SPIRALIS REVOLUTIO - A map showing the pre-Copernican theory that seasonal changes were attributable to the sun's spiral orbit around the earth.

cellarius_solar_spiral.jpg

LOT 50: CELLARIUS, Andreas (ca 1596-1665). Harmonia macrocosmica, est. $80,000-120,000, June 17 at Christie's [christies.com]
There are several scans of Harmonia macrocosmica online: the University of Utah Library has one; and so does The Warnock LIbrary in A'dam. The images above come from scans at the extensive Cellarius site published by R.H. van Gent at the University of Utrecht.
Buy the Taschen reissue of Andreas Cellarius' landmark 1660 celestial atlas, Harmonia macrocosmica, at Amazon [amazon]

Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

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first published: June 13, 2008.

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