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Question For The Sketchers

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#1 Frank2

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 09:09 AM

I spent about an hour on the net looking for drawings made by early observers pre-photography, say before 1840. All I could find were a few sketches by Herschel, Lord Rosse, and Galileo. Many people sketch today, even though we all have seen the Hubble photos and know exactly what these objects are and what they look like.

Its hard to believe early observers, the first humans to ever view the wonders of the universe, peered through their amazing new inventions, saw strange never before seen objects, then then simply said 'well that certainly was interesting' and went to bed. Am I just looking in the wrong place?

Frank

#2 frank5817

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 09:52 AM

Hi Frank,

You will find that to see sketches made before 1838 you will need to go through works from England, Germany, France -European countries in general. Some of the older planetariums and astronomical museums in the USA like the Adler here in Chicago have a library full of books and manuscripts from that era. Astronomical observations in this country were very limited as people were more concerned with staying alive and finding food, shelter and eking out an existence. Astronomy was only for the well to do. Telescopes were exceeding expensive to purchase. Making a speculum mirror and grinding and polishing “optical” glass required some practice and tutelage or access to a large library.
You can find some works at Google books.com. but it helps if you can be specific in your search.
I hope this helps,

Frank 5817 :)

#3 idp

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 11:11 AM

I spent about an hour on the net looking for drawings made by early observers pre-photography, say before 1840. All I could find were a few sketches by Herschel, Lord Rosse, and Galileo. Many people sketch today, even though we all have seen the Hubble photos and know exactly what these objects are and what they look like.

Its hard to believe early observers, the first humans to ever view the wonders of the universe, peered through their amazing new inventions, saw strange never before seen objects, then then simply said 'well that certainly was interesting' and went to bed. Am I just looking in the wrong place?

Frank


The fact is, not everything is on the web yet, and this is especially true for old archive materials. You won't find many books either on the web. However, I am an historian, I wrote something on early modern planetary drawings and saw a lot of them (many more than I can write about). One could easily add to your list:
- Christoph Scheiner (great massive book on sunspots, 1630)
- Francesco Fontana (1646, observations of Moon and Planets)
- of course, the great Cassini (+ 1712)!
- his nephew, Giacomo Maraldi. In general, their observing journals at the Paris old observatory are full of drawings of Jupiter, Mars etc. Very few were published.
- Giuseppe Campani, though he was better known as an instrument maker
- Johannes Hevelius, published in various books great drawings of Moon, planets, Sun.
- Riccioli and Grimaldi, published drawings of Moon and planets in 1651 and 1665
- Robert Hooke published great drawings of the Moon and Jupiter
- Francesco Bianchini, began making drawings of the Moon, Jupiter, Saturn, and especially Mars and Venus since around 1713. Published a book of observations of Venus in 1728.

These are only the ones that come to my mind right now. It is more difficult to find drawings for the 1700s, as astronomy shifted towards positional measurements and celestial mechanics. Towards the end of the century, drawing planets nebualae etc. was generally considered an amateurish practice. I had a really hard time finding drawings of astronomical objects between around 1730 and 1770. However, besides Herschel one could mention at least Messier who made and published drawings of the Orion nebula, and of course Schoroeter. Don't forget Madler and Beer, and their drawings of the Moon and Mars (around 1830).

Ivano






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