Le Sphere du Monde
Oronce Fine (1494-1555), expert in medicine, mathematics, astronomy, and map-making, completed his Le sphere du monde in 1549 as an illustrated presentation manuscript for King Henry II of France. Fine was a French mathematician and astronomer who served as the Chair of Mathematics at the Collége Royal from 1531 until the time of his death.
This gorgeous woodcut from his De mundi sphaera illuminates what was, at that time, the current understanding of the solar system. Notice how the positions of the Sun and Earth are switched, with the central Earth ringed by a sphere of air, then fire. We love the outer "Firmament," with it's gold stars against a deep space of cobalt.
In the potichomania process, the glass acts as both a foundation and protective finish, saving the step of varnishing. The original intent was to recreate Greek and Etruscan vases by simulating rare and expensive Sevrés porcelain.
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