CELLARIUS, Andreas (c.1596-1665)
[The Motions of the Three Outer Planets] Theoria trium superiorum planetarum
Amsterdam: Jan Jansson, . Copper-engraved celestial map, with full original colour. Centerfold re-inforced at base. Sheet size: 19 3/4 x 23 inches.
One of the finest and most decorative celestial charts ever produced, from the first edition of Cellarius.
This chart 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. It demonstrates the Ptolemaic theory of epicycles. The epicycles theory addressed a problem that arose from the assumption that if the Earth was the center of the universe, then the circuit of the planets should be of a steady one-directional, circular progress. Observation showed, however, that the orbital progress of the planets was in fact irregular, and from these observations arose the ancient theory of epicycles illustrated here. It is a beautiful image, timeless in the abstract harmony of colour, shape and composition, and also a record of the restless search of the human mind to apprehend order in the universe. This chart was engraved during the greatest era of Dutch map-making, in 1660, by Johannes Janssonius of Amsterdam. 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. 1.