Museo Galileo
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Virtual Museum
Section of Rooms III and IV
 Terrestrial and Celestial Globes

The humanists' interest in Ptolemy's Geography and the discovery of the New World favoured the rapid development of modern cartography thanks to the large production of books, maps and refined globes of all sizes. From the time of Cosimo I, the Medicean collection had contained portolans, precious Ptolemaic codices and a great terrestrial globe over two meters in diameter built by Egnazio Danti (1536-1586). In the 17th century the collection was enriched with splendid globes signed by the most famous European mapmakers - Matthäus Greuter, Adrianus Veen, Jodocus Hondius and Willem Jason Bale.

Unlike maps, which represent the spherical Earth and the sky on two-dimensional surfaces through a geometrically controlled system of distortions, the globe provides a true, non-distorted image of our planet and the universe. Usually made in pairs, terrestrial and celestial, globes were formed of paper segments called gores, glued to a wooden and papier-mâché support. This form of cartographic representation became widespread in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Objects
Celestial globe

Celestial globe

Inv. 347
Willem Jansz Blaeu, published by Joan Blaeu after 1630

Celestial globe

Celestial globe

Dep. OAA, Firenze
Willem Jansz Blaeu, 1622

Celestial globe

Celestial globe

Inv. 2696
Jodocus Hondius Jr, Adrianus Veen, 1613

Celestial globe

Celestial globe

Inv. 2702
Matthäus Greuter, Rome, 1636

Celestial globe

Celestial globe

Inv. 974
Guillaume Delisle, Paris, 1700

Celestial globe

Celestial globe

Inv. 3842
John Cary, William Cary, 1816

Celestial globe

Celestial globe

Inv. 348
Willem Jansz Blaeu, published by Joan Blaeu after 1630

Celestial globe

Celestial globe

Inv. 2697
Willem Jansz Blaeu, published by Joan Blaeu after 1630

Celestial globe

Celestial globe

Dep. OAA, Firenze
Maison Delamarche, Paris, after 1805

Celestial globe

Celestial globe

Dep. SBAS, Firenze
Johann Georg Klinger, Nuremberg, 1790

Reduction compass

Reduction compass

Inv. 655
Maker unknown, 17th cent.

Terrestrial globe

Terrestrial globe

Inv. 353
Willem Jansz Blaeu, published by Joan Blaeu ca. 1645-1648

Terrestrial globe

Terrestrial globe

Inv. 3369
Félix Delamarche & Charles Dien, Paris, 1821

Terrestrial globe

Terrestrial globe

Inv. 354
Willem Jansz Blaeu, published by Joan Blaeu ca. 1645-1648

Terrestrial globe

Terrestrial globe

Inv. 2698
Willem Jansz Blaeu, published by Joan Blaeu ca. 1645-1648

Terrestrial globe

Terrestrial globe

Inv. 3841
John Cary, William Cary, 1816 / after 1818

Terrestrial globe

Terrestrial globe

Dep. SBAS, Firenze
Charles-François Delamarche, Paris, 1785

Terrestrial globe

Terrestrial globe

Inv. 2699
Guillaume Delisle, Paris, 1700 / after 1708

Terrestrial globe

Terrestrial globe

Dep. SBAS, Firenze
Maison Delamarche, Paris, 1850

Terrestrial globe

Terrestrial globe

Dep. SBAS, Firenze
Klinger Kunsthandlung, Nuremberg, ca. 1900

Terrestrial globe

Terrestrial globe

Inv. 3621
Maison Delamarche, Paris, 1858

Terrestrial globe

Terrestrial globe

Dep. OAA, Firenze
Willem Jansz Blaeu, 1622 / published ca. 1630

Terrestrial globe

Terrestrial globe

Inv. 2701
Matthäus Greuter, Rome, 1632

Three-legged compass

Three-legged compass

Inv. 1480
Maker unknown, Italian, 17th cent.

Context