Donato Creti, Astronomical Observations, 1711, oil on canvas, Vatican Museum, Rome.
Creti was comissioned by Bolognese count Luigi Marsili to create a series of all the planets and the moon, which was ultimately presented to Pope Clement XI in an effort to demonstrate the importance of astronomical observations. Apparently it worked, because with the Pope’s support, the first public astronomical observatory opened in Bologna a short time later. Pictured above are Creti’s representations of the Moon, a comet, and Venus, but the entire series included the whole solar system as it was known in the 18th century: the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and a Comet. Uranus is missing because it was only discovered in 1781.
In a last-ditch effort to pass Astronomy and receive my English degree, I’ve started a tumblr for a semester project that looks at depictions of Astronomy, astronomers, and other astrological phenomena through the history of art. Check it out, and give it a follow if you feel so inclined.
Reblogged from Cave to Canvas.
November 26, 2013, 10:00am Comments