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: Geometry [12]

Areas and volumes, and the rationale for placing sights at the circumference of an instrument Geometric diagrams, spirals and the method of dividing lines into equal parts The back of an astrolabe (upside down) and a geometrical solid, to show that the object will be in equilibrium when suspended through the centre of gravity 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 Illustration of the centres of gravity in regular and semiregular shapes 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) Method for measuring the radius of the earth Method for measuring heights and distances on earth Method for finding the height of a celestial object, such as a comet Methods for finding heights, distances, and locations on earth 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 a projectiles trajectory, as timed with a pendulum and measured by a gunners level