Star Atlas :: The Harmonia Macrocosmica of Andreas Cellarius

The Harmonia Macrocosmica is a star atlas written by Andreas Cellarius and published in 1660 by Johannes Janssonius. The first part of the atlas contains copper plate prints depicting the world systems of Claudius PtolemyNicolaus Copernicus and Tycho Brahe. At the end are star maps of the classical and Christian constellations, the latter ones as introduced by Julius Schiller in his Coelum stellatum christianum of 1627.

Scenography of the Ptolemaic cosmography. hm_02

Scenography of the planetary orbits encompassing the Earth. hm_03

The planisphere of Copernicus, or the system of the entire created universe according to the hypothesis of Copernicus exhibited in a planar view. 


Scenography of the Copernican world system. hm_05

The location of the Earth encircled by the celestial circles. hm_11

The hemisphere of the Old World, with its (climate) zones, (meridian) circles and the dwelling places of the distinctive races. 


The (astrological) aspects, such as opposition, conjunction, etc., among the planets. hm_15

The (apparent) spiral revolution of the Sun around the Earth. hm_17

First hemisphere with the Christianized firmament. hm_22

Second hemisphere with the Christianized firmament. hm_23

The northern stellar hemisphere of antiquity. hm_24

Spherical scenography of both the celestial and terrestrial northern hemispheres. hm_25

The northern stellar hemisphere, with the terrestrial hemisphere lying underneath. hm_26

The southern stellar hemisphere of antiquity. hm_27

The southern hemisphere of both the starry vault and the Earth, shown scenographically. hm_28

The southern stellar hemisphere with equally proportioned (celestial and terrestrial) spheres.hm_29

*In general, the plates of the 1660/61 editions are coloured in bright tones – those of the 1708 reprint tend to be more plain in colouring.

*Info via

In the foreword to his ChronologicaGerard Mercator stated the intention to publish an atlas which would cover everything of the then-known cosmos, geography and history of the earth. During his life, Mercator published five volumes of his atlas, the last one being published by his son Rumold. After Mercator’s death, the Amsterdam cartographer Johannes Janssonius took over the project. He and fellow-cartographer Hendricus Hondius published their Novus Atlas in 1636, which featured over 320 maps in four languages. In 1660, Andreas Cellarius’Harmonia Macrocosmica was published as the seventh volume of the project. With the final addition of a volume describing the cities of the world from 1657, the project was finally completed.

Of the various engravers and authors who worked on the plates of the atlas, only two have signed their work. The frontispiece of the atlas was created by Frederik Hendrik van den Hove and ten other plates were engraved by Johannes van Loon. Moreover, all the designs of the classical constellations were taken from the ones created by Jan Pieterszoon Saenredam.

Celestial Spheres

In astronomy and navigation, the celestial sphere is an imaginary sphere of arbitrarily large radius, concentric with a particular celestial body. All objects in the observer’s sky can be thought of as projected upon the inside surface of the celestial sphere, as if it were the underside of a dome or a hemispherical screen. The celestial sphere is a practical tool for spherical astronomy, allowing observers to plot positions of objects in the sky when their distances are unknown or unimportant.

A celestial sphere can also refer to a physical model of the celestial sphere or celestial globe. Such globes map the constellations on the outside of a sphere, resulting in a mirror image of the constellations as seen from Earth……..

The Celestial Mini Globe.

The Celestial Livingstone Globe.


Bellerby & Co Globemakers

Bellerby & Co Globemakers; Creators of high quality, beautiful handmade world globes. Combining traditional techniques with pioneering design. Handcrafted terrestrial and celestial globes in London. We create models of many sizes and styles, and offer a bespoke service.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *