CELLARIUS, Andreas (c.1596-1665)
[The Southern Celestial Hemisphere of Classical Antiquity] Hæmisphærium Stellatum Australe Antiquum
[Amsterdam: G.Valck & P.Schenk, 1708]. Copper-engraved celestial map, with full original colour. Excellent condition. Sheet size: 20 x 22 1/4 inches.
One of the finest and most highly decorative celestial charts ever produced, from the Valk & Schenck edition of Cellarius
This artistically virtuous composition represents a view of the sky of the Southern Hemisphere as considered by Ancient Greek custom, forming part of the Harmonia Macrocosmica seu Atlas Universalis et Novus (Harmonious Universe or New and Universal Atlas) by Andreas Cellarius, the finest celestial atlas ever produced. According to Classical astronomy, championed by Aristotle and Ptolemy, the stars were mounted on a huge, transparent, crystal sphere part of a divine system in which all of the stars and planets rotated around the Earth. In this chart, the figures of the zodiac form a circle within which are the constellations of the Southern sky, including Orion, Hydra, and the Southern Cross, all represented by lively Baroque figures.
The present image by Cellarius was created during the great era of Dutch map-making, a period that saw the perfection of the art of representing scientific ideas in graphic form by means of engraving. It was first printed by Janssonius in 1660, and reprinted in 1661. In 1708, Gerard Valck and Petrus Schenk, made their own edition, adding their names to the plates.
Andreas Cellarius was born in about 1596 in Neuhausen, a small town near Worms in the Rhine-Hesse region of Germany. From 1625 to 1637 Cellarius worked as a schoolmaster in Amsterdam and The Hague, and in 1637 moved to Hoorn, where he was appointed as headmaster or rector of the Latin School. He published a number of works during his lifetime, but the last and greatest was the Atlas Coelestis seu Harmonia Macrocosmica . Cellarius resigned from his post as headmaster in early 1665 and died in Hoorn in November of the same year.
Koeman, Atlantes Neerlandici, Cel. 3.