Atlas Coelestis

Alternate Titles:

Atlas Coelestis In quo Mundus Spectabilis

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Alternate Titles

Atlas Coelestis In quo Mundus Spectabilis

Extent / Format

128 pages / 51.5 x 31.5 cm

Artist / School

Johann Gabriel Doppelmayr (1677 - 1750)
Publisher: Publishing house of Johann Homann (1664-1724)


32 maps of the sky

Short description

The work Atlas Coelestis In quo Mundus Spectabilis is a collection of 32 astronomical charts, which were made by the German scientist Johann Gabriel Dopplmayr. The atlas was first published in 1742 by the Nuremberg’s Homann print shop, which specialized in astronomy. It is one of the most splendid and influential works of research concerning the astronomy of the Middle Ages and contains breathtaking, hand-colored charts of the heavens and stars.

Facsimile editions available


Atlas Coelestis

A special document by the German astronomer Johann Gabriel Doppelmayr can be found in the library of the Nicolaus Copernicus University in the Polish city of Torun. Its full title reads Atlas Coelestis In quo Mundus Spectabilis and was first published by Nuremberg’s Homann publishing house in the year 1742. The artfully illuminated work contains a collection of 32 double-page cosmological charts. In this work, the influential scientist Doppelmayr recorded the findings of his lifelong exploration of the heavens and the stars.

Who Was Johann Gabriel Doppelmayr?

The astronomer Johann Gabriel Doppelmayr lived and worked in the 17th and early 18th century in Nuremberg. He was born the son of a merchant. After Nuremberg’s Aegidianum School, he enrolled in 1696 in the Faculty of Law at the Universität Altdorf. However, he soon changed to the Universität Halle and there devoted himself to the study of mathematics and physics. Later, Doppelmayr became a professor of mathematics in Nuremberg. He was an enthusiastic researcher of the heavenly bodies and is known to this day as an influential German astronomer. Beginning in 1728, he collaborated with Johann Georg Puschner to create earthly and celestial globes. His impressive sky atlas, in which the astronomical knowledge of his time was recorded, is the scientist’s most important work.

The History of the Codex

The Atlas Coelestis contains 32 charts of the heavens, which were designed by the author Doppelmayr himself. His research was based on the teachings of famous astronomers like Ptolemy, Copernicus, and Kepler. The sky charts were pressed onto the pages of the work as copperplates and later hand-colored in gorgeous colors. Of particular interest are a few illustrated depictions of the famous scientists who had an impact on Doppelmayr. On the title page of the work, one finds pictures of Copernicus, Kepler, and other pioneers of astronomy in characteristic poses and with unique astronomical instruments.

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