'Atlante Farnese Constellation Figures', 1921.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 25cm x 32cm

'Atlante Farnese Constellation Figures', 1921.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Engraving taken from 'Terrestrial & Celestial Globes' by E L Stevenson, published by Yale University Pres (1921). The engraving shows a detail of the celestial globe held by the Farnese Atlas, a stone statue of the titan Atlas. The sculpture was acquired by Cardinal Alesandro Farnese in the early 16 century, and is now at the Museo Nazionale Archeologico in Naples. It is believed to be a Roman copy, made in about 150 AD, of a Greek original dating from 200 BC. This is the oldest surviving western representation of a celestial globe. The figures representing the constellations are numbered on the engraving, and identifiable from a key at the foot of the illustration.

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