Moon: Copernicus and crater

Made:
1851 in Kent
maker:
James Hall Nasmyth

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collections
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

Science Museum Group Collections
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

Moon / James Nasmyth, 1851. - 4. Copernicus and crater: painting by James Nasmyth of part of the surface of the Moon, dated 16 April 1851. 143.5x123cm.

James Nasmyth started observing the moon in the 1840s, while running a revolutionary engineering business in Manchester. He tried to use the most up-to-date lunar map published by German astronomers but found the two-dimensional line drawing did not equate easily with the three-dimensional surface he observed. He therefore produced a series of sketches and paintings, from hundreds of observations, focusing on the light and shadow created by the moon’s pitted surface.

Details

Category:
Art
Object Number:
1956-153/4
Measurements:
Overall framed: 1560 mm x 1350 mm x 70 mm,
type:
painting
credit:
University of Oxford Observatory