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: Usage [13]

The celestial globe in use. Note the disembodied hands setting the base of the instrument, with a spanner on the right Use of a fixed divider to graduate a globe to correspond to its meridian ring, also illustrations of two similar dividers (bottom) Use of dividers (left) and a grid square (right) Use of scale rulers/sectors (top background) and a stencil drawing compass with a variety of stencils (lower foreground) Use of a graduated tracers on a sphere (top left) and a horizontal ring (bottom left), the use of dividers to measure height of a central point (right top), the use of a set square and plumb bob as level (right bottom), and an illustration of a graduated tracer with round engraving point (middle) An elliptical compass (top left), drawing an ellipsis with a rope (middle left), instrument to engrave parallel lines (bottom left), an instrument for drawing conic sections (top right), and drawing a curve using a tracer and rope (bottom right) Armillary sphere in use Horizontal ring in use Quadrant in use The use of pulleys in operating sextants and quadrants 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) Method to measure the height of clouds with a suspended astrolabe 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)