'Johannes Flamsteedius ...' [John Flamsteed, 1646-1719]

Engraving. This portrait was used as the frontispiece in the first Astronomer Royal, John Flamsteed's 'Atlas Coelestis', the star map finally published after his death and based on his life's work at the Royal Observatory mapping the heavens. The full title reads 'Johannes Flamsteedius Derbiensis/ Astronomiae Professor Regius. Anno Aetatis 74 Obijt Decem: 31 1719' (John Flamsteed of Derby, the King's Professor of Astronomy. He died in his 74th year on 31 December 1719). The portrait itself is a print by George Vertue made in 1721 after a portrait by Thomas Gibson, painted in 1712. It shows Flamsteed as an old man, dressed in clerical robes with his left hand on his chest. The engraving is in a window mount in a light oak frame (measuring 510 x 382 mm). Because this copy was transferred from the Royal Greenwich Observatory in 1998, it may be the image of Flamsteed left by Margaret Maskelyne, widow of the 5th Astronomer Royal, at Flamsteed House for use of the Observatory when she left following her husband's death in 1811: for details see ZBA0692. There are, however, many other copies so this is far from certain. [PvdM amended 2/20]

Object Details

ID: ZBA0744
Type: Print
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Gibson, after Thomas; Vertue, George
Date made: 1712 (Gibson); 1721
Exhibition: Time and Longitude
People: Flamsteed, Reverend John; Gibson, Thomas Vertue, George
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Primary support: 324 mm x 223 mm; Mount: 483 mm x 318 mm

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