Moon / James Nasmyth, 1851. - 5: Gassendi and crater; Painting by James Nasmyth of part of the surface of the Moon, dated 1851. 123x116cm.
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.