Celestial Map of the Northern Hemisphere

Albrecht Dürer’s celestial map of the northern hemisphere is almost hidden, but an important feature of the mural. The original is a highly detailed woodcut that features many illustrations over a map of stars. Dürer included four famous astronomers, Aratus Cilix, Ptolemy, Marcus Manilius, and Al-Sufi, in each corner of the map1. The map also features representations of each star sign, such as a lion for leo and a scorpion for scorpio. 

James Sicner included this piece at the very top of the mural’s front. The art is placed beneath the stone arch and to the right of the totem pole and lightning. Only a small portion of the original art was recreated. The most visible piece is the lion symbol for leo, but portions of other illustrations can be identified as well. While this is a small piece, the inclusion of yet another Dürer is significant in understanding the artist’s frame of mind and inspiration when creating the mural.

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Pictured: Left Sicner / Right Dürer

  1. “The Celestial Map- Northern Hemisphere” The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2020. (accessed July 6, 2020). https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/358366?searchField=All&sortBy=Relevance&ft=Albrecht+D%c3%bcrer+celestial+map&offset=0&rpp=20&pos=1