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The Angel of the Ninth Sphere, or Primum Mobile, plate 49 from Planets and Spheres

A work made of engraving in black on tan laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of engraving in black on tan laid paper.

Date:

c. 1465

Artist:

Master of the E-Series Tarocchi
Italian, active c. 1465

About this artwork

The Ferrara nobility used these enigmatic flash cards, whose engraver’s identity is now unknown, to tutor their children in the structure of the world and the greater cosmos. With images ranging from a human beggar to God himself, the fifty cards in each set were divided into five groups: Ranks and Conditions of Men, Apollo and the Muses, Arts and Sciences, Genii and Virtues, and Planets and Spheres. The stationary angel with the starry disc in plate 48 represents the firmament as a fixed pattern of stars, which according to Ptolemaic thought revolved around the earth. Plate 49 presents the invisible outer sphere as an empty disc held by a dancing angel.

Status

Currently Off View

Department

Prints and Drawings

Artist

Master of the E-Series Tarocchi

Title

The Angel of the Ninth Sphere, or Primum Mobile, plate 49 from Planets and Spheres

Place

Italy (Artist's nationality)

Date

1460–1470

Medium

Engraving in black on tan laid paper

Dimensions

Image: 16.6 × 9.6 cm (6 9/16 × 3 13/16 in.); Plate: 17.7 × 10 cm (7 × 3 15/16 in.); Sheet: 18.2 × 10.4 cm (7 3/16 × 4 1/8 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Potter Palmer, Jr.

Reference Number

1924.39.15

IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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https://api.artic.edu/api/v1/artworks/11466/manifest.json

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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