Recreations, or Sketches of the Relative Position and Mythological History
of the Constellations
Jacob Green presento le 19 tavole pubblicate nella prima edizione del 1824
dell’ Astronomical Recreations,
accompagnate da alcune pagine, tratte dalla prefazione e dalla
introduzione, che delineano lo
spirito dell’opera. Con lo stesso intento aggiungo il testo descrittivo
della prima tavola il cui modello è utilizzato dall’autore per
introdurre tutte le altre.
del Greene, che riporta stelle fino alla quarta magnitudine, si ispira
semplificandola, sia per la scelta delle costellazioni che per le immagini
dei personaggi mitologici, all’Uranographia di Bode pubblicata a Berlino
testo che segue è pubblicato per cortesia della
Glazer Gallery di New York
che lo utilizza come testo di
presentazione di alcune tavole dell’edizione del 1826 che attualmente
pone in vendita.
FALCE NEL LEONE
Hamm, J.H. Nesmith (engravers)
Astronomical Recreations, or
Sketches of the
Position and Mythological History
John Laval & Samuel F. Bradford, Philadelphia: 1824-1826
, each overall
, plate mark
19 celestial maps from this set show the constellations of the northern
and southern hemispheres (together with an image of the moon). The
constellations, including zodiac signs, are illustrated in the Italianate
Renaissance taste as classical mythological figures. The constellations of
the southern hemisphere, which were discovered and named later, are
traditionally rendered as scientific instruments and other figures.
This series reflects the interest in science, classical art and history in
the Federal republic in
, and the popularization of such topics in educational publications aimed
at the layperson. They are from an atlas produced by the American
scientist Jacob Green, published by John Laval and Samuel Bradford in
The atlas also bears an earlier title page, dated 1824, with the name only
of the original publisher, Anthony Finley "N.E. Corner of Fourth and
Chestnut Streets" and Clark & Raser as "Printers, 33
Carter's Alley." A dedication page dated 1824 (the year of the
original issue of the atlas) thanks James Stevenson, a prominent citizen
, who served as mayor from 1826-1828:
"To James Stevenson, Esquire,
"It is with great pleasure that I inscribe to you this book, as a
slight acknowledgement of my obligations for your numerous acts of
kindness. It was under your hospitable roof that I matured the plan which
is here published, and it was during our frequent evening rambles that I
first experienced the want of a work which I have now endeavoured to
supply. When I recollect the years passed in
, and recal (sic) the hours of rational pleasure and solid improvement
which I there enjoyed, I feel desirous of giving my friends around you
this evidence that they still live in my remembrance.
"With every sentiment of gratitude and affection, I remain
Your friend, Jacob Green
, Sept. 1, 1824."
Jacob Green was a Philadelphian with wide-ranging interests and
accomplishments in the sciences. At an early age, he wrote a treatise on
electricity which launched his reputation. After graduating from the
in 1806, he studied and practiced law for several years, but in 1818
accepted appointment to the chairs of chemistry, experimental philosophy,
and natural history at
. In 1822 he became professor of chemistry at
, where he remained until his death. He was the author of three books on
chemistry, as well as a two-volume set on trilobites and books on The
Botany of the
, Diseases of the Skin
His father, Ashbel Green, and grandfather, Jacob Green, were prominent
clergymen and authors on theological topics.
Scholar Walter Ristow describes Finley as follows:
"Little is known about his background, but he was probably born
around 1790. Judging from contributors to his atlases, he apparently moved
in the same
circles of engravers and compilers as other contemporary publishers.
Finley also borrowed freely from European sources in compiling his atlas."
(Ristow, 268) Ristow quotes the North American Review, describing in 1824
Finley's New General Atlas, issued in the same year as Finley's celestial
"[T]he number of elegant maps and atlases which have come from the
press within a short time in the United States, is a most flattering proof
of increased attention of the community to the important study of
geography. The present work contains sixty maps, about half of which are
devoted to the American continent, and the remained to other parts of the
world, chiefly to
. The engraving is done almost uniformly with remarkable distinctness and
the face of the maps is frequently beautiful, not overloaded with a
confusion of useless names." (Ristow, 268-9)
's Cyclopedia of American Biography. James Grant Wilson and John
Fiske, eds. Six volumes.
: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889,
L. Klos, ed., 1999. Estoric.com. http://www.famousamericans.net/jacobgreen
(16 December 2003).
Kestenbaum, Lawrence. "Index of Politicians: Stevenson to
Steward." The Political Graveyard. 1 September 2003. http://politicalgraveyard.com/bio/stevenson-steward.html
(16 December 2003).
Walter W. Ristow, American Maps and Mapmakers: Commercial Cartography
in the 19th Century. Detroit,
MI: Wayne State University Press, 1985.
sulle immagini per gli approfondimenti
OF THE ZODIAC
OF THE ZODIAC