In the frontispiece of the Parisian Ephemerides by Philippe Desplaces Urania's portrait follows the tradition: the Muse rests her arm on a big armillary sphere and, like in the Bolognese Ephemerides, a pendulum clock hangs on the wall. Urania is surrounded by putti holding astronomical instruments: an astrolabe, a telescope, a globe upon which they take measures with their compasses. Other figures handle some bigger instruments, such as a long-focal telescope in typical XVIIIth century mounting and a sextant; some vessels plough the sea in the background. Behind the Muse a tower of Paris Observatory can be seen, represented in a rather inaccurate way, if compared to the original.
Ephemerides des mouvemens célestes pour les années 1715, jusqu'en 1725.
A Paris, chez Jacques Collombat, 1716.
pp. , 280. 4°.
IV. 5 . 18
Philippe Desplaces (Paris 1659-1736), astronomer at Paris Observatory, produced the Paris Ephemerides for the years from 1715 to 1744, using the tables by De La Hire for his calculations.
The series of the French Ephemerides, continued by Nicolas de La Caille, shows in the following years another portrait of Urania in the frontispiece: the Muse has a star on her brow and wears a starred gown, holding a copy of the Ephemerides in her hands. Around her some putti are playing with telescopes, quadrants and squares. No sea on the background, but a tower of Paris Observatory, whence a telescope makes observations of a solar eclipse, while in a nearby temple some people watch the sky and use a globe.
Ephemerides des mouvemens célestes, pour dix années, depuis 1765 jusqu'en 1775, et pour le meridien de la ville de Paris.
A Paris, Des caractères & de l'Imprimerie de Jean-Thomas Herissant, 1763.
pp. , 260, . 4°.
IX . 5 . 18
The engraving is signed by Simon Challe (Paris 1719-1765) and François Antoine Aveline (Paris 1718 - London 1780); the latter, coming from a family of artists, was copper engraver and printer in Paris.
Nicolas de La Caille (Rumigny 1713-1762) made geodetic measurements in France and during an expedition to the Cape of Good Hope, where he composed a star catalogue which was published posthumously in 1763. He was professor of astronomy at the College Mazarin and wrote several didactic treatises of astronomy, mechanics and optics.
|Biblioteca del Dipartimento di Astronomia|
Pierluigi Battistini, Laura Peperoni e Marina Zuccoli