By MONCORNET, [Balthasar], 1699
Domnus Nicolas Copernicus Sacerdos, Canonicus Regularis, Astronomorum Koryphaeus. Ex Authentico Prototypo Ersasmi Reinholdi, Copernic Trutinat Terrae, Lunae que Labores, Sidereas Monstrat Pausas, Abstrusaque Pandit. Faciebat. I,. Mittannour. Chamahista Moncornet Excudit.
- Author: MONCORNET, [Balthasar]
- Publication place: [Paris]
- Publisher: Moncornet
- Publication date: 1699 [but before 1668].
- Dimensions: 150 by 115mm (6 by 4.5 inches).
- Inventory reference: 18155
As a mathematician, astronomer, physician, Classicist, translator, diplomat and economist, Copernicus was naturally a celebrated figure among his contemporaries and in posterity, and his image therefore appears often in engraved form. The present portrait claims to be based on an image made of him while he was alive and owned by his friend, the German astronomer Erasmus Reinhold. If so, Reinhold and Copernicus cannot have been very close since he image actually shows the likeness of Johann Stoeffler, another contemporary polymath. Depicted with his torso in a profile, the words “spes mea in Deo Jesu” (‘my faith is in Lord Jesus’) appear to float from the subject’s mouth. Outside of the oval frame are diagrams of a heliocentric system, candles arranged in a triangle, and the bishop’s cross. The Latin inscription declares some of Corpernicus’ achievements and asserts the claim that Moncornet made the engraving after an authentic portrait.