"Systema Ideale Pyrophylaciorum Subterraneorum, Quorum Montes Vulcanii, Veluti Spiracula Quaedam Existant", 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
This unusual copper engraving shows a cross-section of the earth's interior with its magma core. The surface of the earth is shown with erupting volcanoes and ships sailing in the oceans. Clouds and four wind-heads surround the sphere. A decorative title cartouche completes the fanciful composition with a text panel below. The Jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher was one of the first compilers of semi-scientific knowledge about the physical features of the world. 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 sharp impression on paper with a horn coat of arms watermark, a short archivally repaired edge tear that enters the image in the bottom left corner, and a small worm hole in the right blank margin that has been backed with archival materials. There are some tiny worm holes in the bottom margin.