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

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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.

Affiliations: 1: Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa Centre for the History of Science and Technology – CIUHCT, Portugal samuel.gessner@gmail.com

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/content/journals/10.1163/18253911-03001004
2015-01-01
2017-04-30

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