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A Masterwork of Celestial Cartography
In a Pristine, Original-Colored Example
Constellations/ Scientific Instruments.
CELLARIUS, Andreas [Amsterdam, 1660]
Haemisphaerium Scenographicum Australe Coeli Stellati Et Terrae.
17 x 20 ¼ inches
Superb original color; pristine condition.
A magnificent example of one of Cellarius’ most visually arresting works. It is also the most astronomically advanced of all of his star charts. It was not until European exploratory voyages ventured far enough south in the lower latitudes that certain constellations become visible. And of all of Cellarius’ works, this chart provides the southernmost perspective. For example, at the very bottom of the chart, the far southern constellation, the Southern Cross, can be seen. The perspective from which the constellations on this engraving would be seen from the earth is revealed by the map of the southern parts of Africa and South America, and of Antarctica, visible “beneath” the constellations.
This chart is also the most modern of Cellarius’ work in its depiction of several, contemporary astronomical instruments, including is a quite well detailed telescope.
This chart employs a most ingenious and striking design. As if from a vantage point in space beyond the constellations, the viewer beholds the stars suspended in a nighttime sky over a portion of the earth. In an attempt to retain some shred of the concept of the centrality of the earth in the cosmos, Cellarius subscribed to the notion that the stars were nestled in a web that moved in coordination with the earth.
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