The Astronomer, 17th century artwork

The Astronomer, 17th century artwork

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: The Astronomer, 17th century artwork by the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675). This artwork was painted in 1668, and forms a pair with The Geographer (V650/006), also by Vermeer. The original is held in the Louvre, Paris, France. The two paintings depict the scientific revolution that was taking place in 17th-century Europe. Newton and Huygens were among those advancing astronomical knowledge at this time. It is thought that van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723) is the person used as the model for this painting. It shows an astronomer with a book, reaching towards an accurately rendered celestial globe, made by Jodocus Hondius in 1600. An astrolabe is below the globe. The painting at upper right is The Finding of Moses, symbolizing this age of discovery.

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