Scenographia Systematis Mundani Ptolemaici 

Andreas Cellarius 

Amsterdam / 1708

Hand Colored

Cellarius’s chart illustrating Claudius Ptolemy’s earth-centered model of the universe

In the second century, Claudius Ptolemy, an important Egyptian Astronomer and Geographer, postulated that the Sun and Planets revolved around the Earth which was at the center  of the universe.  Cellarius shows Ptolemy’s earth-centric model, with the signs of the zodiac ringing the earth and surrounded by allegorical scenes including a celestial globe, classical astronomers working with globes and instruments.

Andreas Cellarius was born in 1596 in Neuhausen and educated in Heidelberg. He emigrated to Holland in the early 17th Century and 1637 moved to Hoorn, where he became the rector of the Latin School. Cellarius’ best known work is his Harmonia Macrocosmica, first issued in 1660 by Jan Jansson, as a supplement to Jansson’s Atlas Novus. The work consists of a series of Celestial Charts begun by Cellarius in 1647 and intended as part of a two volume treatise on cosmography, which was never issued.

Cellarius’ charts are the most soughtafter of celestial charts, blending the striking imagery of the golden age of Dutch Cartography with contemporary scientific knowledge.