HOMEInscriptionsDouble Stellar Hemisphere

Double Stellar Hemisphere

Double Stellar Hemisphere

China - First Historical Archives of China


The Double Stellar Hemisphere is a map that was printed from woodblocks in 1634. It depicts the northern and southern hemispheres and consists of 16 coloured star charts, 4 coloured pictures of astronomical instruments and 2 legends. The creation of the map was presided over by Xu Guangqi, a renowned Chinese scholar and bureaucrat, who collaborated with other scholars and with Johann Adam Schall von Bell, a Jesuit German missionary and scholar living in China. The resultant map was a merging of both Chinese and Western astrological knowledge. It is an example of the intellectual interaction that took place between China and the West at that time.

Copies of the map were printed and some of these copies are now in the Vatican Library. The original map was presented to the Chinese Emperor and is more decorative than the copies. The original map is listed in the Qing Imperial Household Map Directory of 1761 but was not known to people outside the Royal Court. The fact it was kept hidden within the Royal Court meant that it was unknown to people in the west and the European copies became

known as “The Double Stellar Hemisphere of Johann Adam Schall von Bell”. Traditional Chinese star names are used and a Chinese translation of the Western name was used if a traditional name did not exist. The map consists of eight vertical sections and has a total size of approximately 200cm by 452cm. It is printed on Chinese paper, mounted on blue silk and all the constellations are gilded.




Registration Year:


Related Repositories
First Historical Archives of China
Nomination Form
상단이동 버튼