Heavenly Networks

Celestial Maps and Globes in Circulation between Artisans, Mathematicians, and Noblemen in Renaissance Europe

in Nuncius
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The aim of this paper is to examine the iconography on a set of star charts by Albrecht Dürer (1515), and celestial globes by Caspar Vopel (1536) and Christoph Schissler (1575). The iconography on these instruments is conditioned by strong traditions which include not only the imagery on globes and planispheres (star charts), but also ancient literature about the constellations. Where this iconography departs from those traditions, the change had to do with humanism in the sixteenth century. This “humanistic” dimension is interwoven with other concerns that involve both “social” and “technical” motivations. The interplay of these three dimensions illustrates how the iconography on celestial charts and globes expresses some features of the shared knowledge and shared culture between artisans, mathematicians, and nobles in Renaissance Europe.

Heavenly Networks

Celestial Maps and Globes in Circulation between Artisans, Mathematicians, and Noblemen in Renaissance Europe

in Nuncius

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References

  • 4

    Elly Dekker“Caspar Vopel’s ventures in sixteenth-century celestial cartography,” Imago Mundi2010 622:161–190.

  • 8

    Susan Dackerman“Constellations and configurations,” in Prints and the pursuit of knowledge in early modern Europe edited by Susan Dackerman et al. (New Haven: Yale University Press 2013) pp. 79–124 with an updated bibliography.

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  • 11

    C. Julius HyginusPoeticon astronomicon. Ad veterum exemplarium & eorumque manuscriptorum fidem diligentissime recognitum & ab innumeris quibus scatebat vitiis repurgatum (Cologne: Johann Soter1534). The printer Johann Soter very probably also printed Noviomagus’ Phaenomena edition (see note 5). Celestial globe papier-mâché glued woodcut paper gores on 19th c. stand 28.9cm diameter (Cologne Kölnisches Stadtmuseum inv. KSM 1984–447). Besides that exemplar only one mounted and one un-mounted set of globe gores seem to have survived.

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  • 16

    Samuel Gessner“‘Geometricus et astronomicus faber’. Chr. Schissler aus Augsburg als Hersteller eines wenig bekannten großen Himmelsglobus (1575),” in Weiter sehen. Beiträge zur Frühgeschichte des Fernrohrs und zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte Augsburgs. In Memoriam Inge Keil. Acta Historica Astronomiae Beiträge zur Astronomiegeschichteedited by Jürgen Hamel and Michael Korey 2012 45:123–154.

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  • 19

    Ramona Braun“Dürer’s 1515 star-maps and astronomical networks in Nuremberg: Dürer, Stabius and Heinfogel,” Print Quarterly (2015 in press). I would like to express my thanks to R. Braun for kindly letting me read a draft version of the paper.

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  • 21

    John L. FloodPoets Laureate in the Holy Roman Empire: A Bio-bibliographical Handbook (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter2006) pp. 1974–1976.

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Figures

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    Figure 1A

    Star chart of the northern hemisphere by Dürer, Heinfogel and Stabius (1515)

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    Figure 1B

    Star chart of the southern hemisphere by Dürer, Heinfogel and Stabius (1515)

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    Figure 2

    The printed celestial globe by Vopel (1536)

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    Figure 3

    Schissler’s copper globe designed after the Vopel globe (1575)

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    Figure 4A

    The image of Andromeda in Hyginus’ Poeticon Astronomicon. Opus utilissimum foeliciter incipit de mundi & sph[a]er[a]e ac utriusq[ue] p[ar]tiu[m] declaratione published in Venice by Erhardus Ratdolt in 1485.

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    Figure 4B

    The image of Hercules on Dürer’s star chart (1515)

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    Figure 4C

    The image of Andromeda (C) on Dürer’s star chart (1515)

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    Figure 5A

    An engraved image of Andromeda prepared by Vogel for C. Julius Hyginus, Poeticon astronomicon. Ad veterum exemplarium & eorumque manuscriptorum fidem diligentissime recognitum, & ab innumeris quibus scatebat vitiis repurgatum, Johann Soter ed. (Cologne: 1534).

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    Figure 5B

    An image of Andromeda on Vogel’s 1536 printed celestial globe

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    Figure 6A

    Antinous on the celestial globe by Vopel (1536)

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    Figure 6B

    Coma Berenices on the celestial globe by Vopel (1536)

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    Figure 7

    Antinous depicted on the gilt copper globe by Schissler (1575)

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    Figure 8

    Cartouche and crest of Schissler on his celestial globe (1575)

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