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Astronomicum Caesareum

Artist:
Michael Ostendorfer (German, (?) ca. 1490–1549 Regensburg)
Author:
Petrus Apianus (German, active 1526–40) , German, 1495–1552
Printer:
Georg and Petrus Apianus (German)
Date:
May 1540
Medium:
Hand-colored woodcuts
Dimensions:
17 7/8 × 12 11/16 × 1 5/16 in. (45.4 × 32.3 × 3.3 cm)
Classification:
Books
Credit Line:
Gift of Herbert N. Straus, 1925
Accession Number:
25.17
Not on view
This most sumptuous of all Renaissance instructive manuals explained the use of the astrolabe (for calculating the altitude of stars) and other instruments used for computing planetary positions. The author, court astronomer to Emperor Charles V, also provided new observations on the comet of 1531 (Halley's Comet). Only about forty copies of this work survive; very few still have the seed pearls that were originally attached to the string markers on each of the eighteen disks.
Marking: Printer's mark: Petrus Apianus
Donor: Herbert Straus
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," December 4, 1992–April 5, 2013.

Van Ortroy 98, #112; Ninner 1476; Stillwell/ Science Vi, 814; Horblit 48; Dodgson II, 386.7; BM cat. II p. 242; Brunet I 342; Hollstein XXX.206.54 (1-41)
Campbell Dodgson Catalogue of Early German and Flemish Woodcuts Preserved in the Department of Prints and Drawings of the British Museum. British Museum, London, 1911, cat. no. II.386.7.

F. W. H. Hollstein German Engravings, Etchings and Woodcuts, ca. 1400–1700. Amsterdam, 1954, cat. no. XXX.206.54 (1-41), p. 206.



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