Verbiest's Prints

In the exhibition we were able to present only a selection from Ferdinand Verbiest’s Xinzhi Yixiangtu. All 105 of the prints are available here. Click on a thumbnail for larger versions, or choose a group from the list of themes such as astronomy and mechanics.

Theme: Astronomy [32]

The Beijing observatory as re-equipped by Ferdinand Verbiest Ecliptic armillary sphere Equatorial armillary sphere Azimuth instrument Quadrant Sextant Celestial globe Mount for ecliptic armillary Mount for quadrant Mount for sextant Mount for globe Detail of sight and transversal divisions for astronomical instruments (above) and a sector being used with dividers (below) Sighting devices, including an alidade and a rule. The instruments in the background are a trigometre (right), what could be a specialist surveying instrument or simply the back of an astrolabe (centre), and a triangular surveying instrument, possibly a beam compass (left). Transversal scales on the limbs of an armillary sphere and the sextant The celestial globe in use. Note the disembodied hands setting the base of the instrument, with a spanner on the right The centre of gravity of birds in flight, on ground, and at rest (top and right) and of an astronomical instrument suspended on pulleys (left) An assembled ecliptic armillary sphere Use of a fixed divider to graduate a globe to correspond to its meridian ring, also illustrations of two similar dividers (bottom) Examples of the principles of statics and Brahe Diagrams of lifting arrangements and how to lift a quadrant arm with ropes and a crown block (bottom middle) A quadrant (left), and a lifting system using an inclined plane compared to one without the inclined plane (right) Use of parallel poles to hold a sextant in equilibrium Illustration of principles needed to find the centre of gravity of a quadrangle (bottom middle) and the application of the principle to mounting and lifting sextants and quadrants Diagrammatic representation of the north-south line on a sphere (top right), a ecliptical-equatorial instrument based on the same principles (top left), and an illustration of the corrected north-south line (bottom) Armillary sphere in use Horizontal ring in use Quadrant in use The use of pulleys in operating sextants and quadrants Method for finding the height of a celestial object, such as a comet Measuring the height of a rainbow usng a quadrant (left), and the diameter of the solar corona and/or lunar halos using a astronomical ring (right) Illustration of classical experiment with a gold ring and cup to explain refraction in two media - air & water (right), method of measuring refraction using two quadrants (middle), and the use of an optical telescope for projecting the sun (left) A pendulum device (right) and a celestial globe (left)