Fascinating Cross-Section of the Earth
"Systema Ideale Quo Exprimitur, Aquarum per Canales Hydragogos Subterraneos ex Mari et in Montium Hydrophylacia Protrusio, Aquarumq. Subterrestrium per Pyragogos Canales Concoctus", Kircher, Athanasius
Subject: Cartographic Miscellany, Earth
Period: 1682 (circa)
Publication: D'Onder-Aardse Weereld
Color: Hand Color
16.3 x 13.1 inches
41.4 x 33.3 cm
The Jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher was one of the first compilers of semi-scientific knowledge about the physical features of the world. This unusual copper engraving shows a cross-section of the earth's interior with its magma core and underground water sources. The surface of the earth is shown with mountain ranges, erupting volcanoes, and ships sailing in the oceans. Clouds and four wind-heads surround the sphere. A decorative title cartouche held aloft by putti completes the fanciful composition. This is from a Dutch edition of Kircher's masterpiece, an immense and amazing work covering all aspects of anything that dwelled or occurred within the earth's interior - from dragons, to fossils, to mountain springs, earthquakes, and volcanoes.
A particularly fine impression on watermarked paper with a small chip along centerfold at bottom that has been professionally repaired, with a minor amount of text in facsimile. There are additional tiny chips and tears in blank margins that have been professionally repaired.