CELLARIUS, Andreas (c.1596-1665)
[The Northern Celestial Hemisphere, with the Terrestrial Hemisphere beneath] Hæmisphærium stellatum boreale cum subiecto hæmisphærio terrestri
Amsterdam: G. Valk & P.Schenk, 1708. Copper-engraved celestial map, with full original colour, later marginal colour. Sheet size: 19 3/4 x 22 3/4 inches.
One of the finest and most highly decorative celestial charts ever produced, from the Valk & Schenk edition of Cellarius
This composition, of great artistic élan, presents a view of the constellations of the Northern Sky superimposed over the North Pole, Europe and northern Asia. It is from 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 that was part of a geocentric system, in which all of the stars and planets revolved around the Earth.
The present image was first engraved in 1660 by Jan Janssonius, during the great era of Dutch map-making, a period that saw the perfection of the art of representing scientific ideas in graphic form through engraving. It was reprinted by Janssonius in 1661, and again in 1708 by Gerard Valk and Petrus Schenk, who added 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 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.