Taschen/Librero is reprinting famous seventeenth-century atlas of the universe from the Special Collections of the Universiteit van Amsterdam

11 December 2006

The German publishing company Taschen is now publishing a richly illustrated version of this atlas in a modern edition with an introduction by astronomer Rob van Gent. For this reprint, use has been made of the hand-coloured example from the Special Collections of the University Library in Amsterdam.

Harmonia Macrocosmica

hemelatlas cellarius
In the Taschen edition of the Harmonia Macrocosmica, all the illustrations and the frontispiece from the 1660 publication have been reproduced in facsimile. Use was made of the beautifully coloured copy which is at the University Library in Amsterdam. The engraved and coloured cosmographic illustrations from this atlas are generally considered the peak of seventeenth-century cartography of the universe and are very popular among collectors of historical maps of the universe. The twenty-nine double folio size illustrations in this atlas show the views of the universe as developed by Claudius Ptolemy (circa 150 A.D.), Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) and Tycho Brahe (1546-1601), and give explanations on various astronomic questions such as the phases of the moon, the seasons, and the apparent orbits of the sun, the moon and the planets.


Up until recently, all that was known about Andreas Cellarius, the original author of this work, was that he was the headmaster of the Latin School in Hoorn. As a result of research in various Dutch archives, it is now possible to give quite a detailed account of the life of the author, which is included in this revised edition.
Astronomer Rob van Gent, the author of the Taschen publication, is employed as Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research staff member at the URU-Explokart project of the Faculty of Geosciences at the University of Utrecht. He is working on a bibliography of historical maps of the universe published from 1500 to 1850 in the Low Lands.

Published by  Special Collections UvA