Object Image

Full Moon

This modern-looking engraving is one of three remarkable prints by Mellan that depict the phases of the moon after sketches he made in Aix-en-Provence in early 1636. Mellan drew what he observed through a telescope, a Dutch invention from about 1608. The engravings were commissioned by Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc, a French humanist, and Pierre Gassendi, a theologian with a passionate interest in astronomy. Mellan completed the prints upon his return to Paris in May 1637. Peiresc, who died in June of that year, never saw the finished works.

Credit: The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1960

1635
Engraving; first state of two (bn)
24.8 x 21.7cm
60.634.36
Image and text © Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2019

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Permanent collection