Moon: Copernicus and crater

1851 in Kent
James Hall Nasmyth

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

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

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.


Object Number:
Overall framed: 1560 mm x 1350 mm x 70 mm,
University of Oxford Observatory

Cite this page


We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.

Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero

Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence

Using our data


Download catalogue entry as json

Download manifest IIIF

Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.