This spectacular rainbow-coloured illustration is from a seventeenth-century celestial atlas and shows the sizes of the heavenly bodies relative to that of the Earth. Andreas Cellarius’ Harmonia macrocosmica was published in Amsterdam in 1660 and this second issue (1661) is one of the great treasures of Cambridge University Library’s extraordinary collection of early printed books. The Library’s copy has been magnificently hand-coloured and illuminated in gold. The book was part of an ambitious programme to map out the surface of the Earth, the cosmos and its history, which started almost a hundred years earlier with the famous cartographer Gerard Mercator. Cellarius’ atlas includes a finely engraved frontispiece and 29 exquisite plates.


  • Title: Harmonia macrocosmica (Atlas.3.66.1)
  • Creator: Andreas Cellarius
  • Date Created: 1661
  • Location Created: Amsterdam
  • Type: Book
  • Rights: Cambridge University Library

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