Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Ships and swans: constellation illustrations

"argo navis"
"lyra" (lyre) on the left, and "avis" (bird) on the right.

These dream-like illustrations of constellations are in fact details of a 16th century celestial globe (1551), called the Mercator globe, in honor of its maker, Gerard Mercator. I love the subdued colors and the anti-gravity feel of the images.

Images courtesy of the Harvard College map collection.

Here's an example of a 19th century celestial map that I wrote about this summer....so different, yet each so perfect in its own way.

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