Phases of the Moon in the 17th Century
Finely colored example of the first state this important Golden Age celestial chart, showing the selenographic phases of the moon, from Cellarius' Harmonia Macrocosmica seu Atlas Universalis et Novus.
Andreas Cellarius Harmonia Macrocosmica (first published in 1660) is generally regarded as one of the most spectacular cosmographical atlases that was published in the second half of the seventeenth century. The atlas was published in 1660 and 1661 by the Amsterdam publisher Johannes Janssonius (1588-1664), as a cosmographical supplement to his Atlas Novus. Andreas Cellarius had already started working on this atlas before 1647 and intended it to be a historical introduction for a two-volume treatise on cosmography, but the second part was never published.
The plates of his Harmonia Macrocosmica were first issued in 1660 and 1661, then later reprinted (without the Latin commentary) in 1708 by the Amsterdam publishers Gerard Valk (1651-1726) and Peter Schenk (1660-1711). The later edition includes the name of Valk & Schenk on the plate.
Andreas Cellarius was born in 1596 in Neuhausen and educated in Heidelberg. He emigrated to Holland in the early 17th century, and in 1637 moved to Hoorn, where he became the rector of the Latin School. Cellarius' best-known work is his Harmonia Macrocosmica, first issued in 1660 by Jan Jansson, as a supplement to Jansson's Atlas Novus. The work consists of a series of Celestial Charts begun by Cellarius in 1647 and intended as part of a two-volume treatise on cosmography, which was never issued.
Cellarius' charts are the most sought after of celestial charts, blending the striking imagery of the golden age of Dutch Cartography with contemporary scientific knowledge. The present examples come from the Valk & Schenk edition of Cellarius' atlas, which is unchanged from the 1661 edition. The 1660 and 1661 editions can be distinguished by the inclusion of a plate number in the lower right corner of the 1661 edition. The Valk & Schenk edition can be distinguished by the addition of the printer's name (Valk & Schenk) in the titles of the maps.