Three suns in the sky

By BLAEU, Johannes, 1665 

[Novaya Zemlya] Figura admirandi meteori.

Europe Russia
  • Author: BLAEU, Johannes
  • Publication place: Amsterdam
  • Publication date: 1665.
  • Physical description: Engraved illustration with contemporary hand-colour, set within text.
  • Dimensions: 235 by 236mm. (9.25 by 9.25 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 9691


A scene representing Dutch vessels navigating the seas with three suns in the sky. The rare celestial phenomenon, called anthelion, had appeared to Barentsz and Ryp as the evening neared on 4 June 1595, probably in the offing of North Cape.

The map appeared in the Atlas Major’, which, in its various editions, was the largest atlas ever published. It was justly famed for its production values, its high typographic standard, and the quality of its engraving, ornamentation, binding and colouring. The atlas frequently served as the official gift of the Dutch Republic to princes and other authorities. It is one of the most lavish and highly prized of all seventeenth-century illustrated books. 


  1. Van der Krogt
    • Koeman, C and van der Krogt, Pieter (2000–2010). Koeman’s Atlantes Neerlandici. MS’t Goy-Houten: HES & De Graaf Publishers. 9 vols.
  2. Shirley, British Library.
    • Shirley, Rodney. (2004). Maps in the Atlases of the British Library: A descriptive catalogue cAD850 to 1800. London: British Library. 2 vols.
  3. Brotton, 265–290
  4. S. Kramer, Ex bibliotheca Reisachiorum’, Scriptorium 34 (1980), pp.91–95