Thomas Wright's gorgeous 1750 drawings of the cosmos

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To imagine, draw and render the topology of the Cosmos in the 1700’s is a profound form of scientific communication and makes me wander who his intended audience for these illustrations is?

I find this illustration captivating because the frame says that ‘more of this’ is outside the frame - a precursor to photo journalism and cinema in a sketch.

Also portrait not landscape :grin:


I’m seriously considering getting a poster print of that last one, it is so wild!


If you can then buy it I reckon!

This post reminded me of a book I have on Andrea Vesalius anatomy woodcuts. The same use of numbers and letters connecting to notes, would love to know what Thomas Wright’s notes were for these illustrations.

Vesalius’s subject was us, the human body (strangely posed in various scenes) which is why I wander if the ‘eye’s’ in Wright’s illustrations are of an over seeing god, of the cosmos looking at us or to suggest that these are the cosmological elements that we the subject can see?

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I approve.

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Yep, I wonder precisely the same thing too

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Niiiiice! I like it!

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Speaking of planets, Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars have been really prominent lately - you can see them easily around sunset, before the actual stars come out, and they’re high enough up to usually be visible. Jupiter and Saturn are about a finger-width apart, Jupiter’s the brighter one, in the south or southwest, and Mars is more east, bright and by itself.

I did try using my telescope the other day, but its optics are really designed for looking good on the mantel and going well with steampunk or pirate costumes, not actually looking at anything. I’ll have to see if I can find the good binoculars; that’s all you need to see four of Jupiter’s moons and Saturn’s rings.

Another guess that he got right: where he posits that the solar system itself orbits something larger:

The last two plates shown… multiverses!

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