Andreas Cellarius. Theoria Lunae.... Amsterdam, 1708

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Andreas Cellarius (1596-1665)
Theoria Lunae, Eius Motum per Eccentricum et Epicyclum Demonstrans
From Atlas Coelestis seu Harmonia Macrocosmica
Published Amsterdam, 1708
Engraving with original hand color
Paper size: 20 x 23 3/4" 

The lunar theories of Claudius Ptolemy in stunning old color

A fine celestial chart illustrating the Claudius Ptolemy model of lunar motion. The chart illustrates the lunar epicycles as the moon revolves along various orbits. The central chart is bordered zodiacal iconography. The surround is lavishly decorated with finely engraved and colored images of clouds, putti, and two sub-diagrams. 

Andreas Cellarius was born in 1596 in Neuhausen and educated in Heidelberg. He emigrated to Holland in the early 17th Century and in 1637 moved to Hoorn, where he became the rector of the Latin School. Cellarius' best known work is his Harmonia Macrocosmica, first issued in 1660 by Jan Jansson, as a supplement to Jansson's Atlas Novus. The work consists of a series of Celestial Charts begun by Cellarius in 1647 and intended as part of a two volume treatise on cosmography, which was never issued.

Cellarius' charts are the most sought after of celestial charts, blending the striking imagery of the golden age of Dutch Cartography with contemporary scientific knowledge. 

In addition to their lavish aesthetic appeal, the celestial charts of Andreas Cellarius comprise the most sweeping, ambitious project in the history of celestial cartography, one which also illustrates the historical tensions of the time. Cellarius’ maps present the evolution of the field of astronomy from ancient times until his own. In his distinctive visual language, Cellarius portrayed the often-conflicting theories that prevailed. In addition to the relatively obscure notions of Tycho Brahe and Schiller, Cellarius’s charts track the theories of Ptolemy, dating from the 2nd century AD, and Copernicus’s 16th-century challenge to the venerable ancient astronomer.

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