In honor of this morning’s “Blood Moon” total lunar eclipse (read about it here), we are sharing a print round-up of our favorite moon related prints. These lunar prints are stunning scientific and artistic representations, from multiple centuries. We hope you enjoy!
This is an interesting and decorative map of the surface of the Moon. Doppelmayr was an astronomer as well as a professor of mathematics. He often worked with the Homann heirs. Together they produced a number of atlases, including Atlas Coelestis and Selenographica.
This print is from Chambers’ and Rees’ Cyclopaedia or, An Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences. The composite shows diagrams relating to eclipses.
This chart appeared in Smith’s Illustrated Astronomy, Designed for the Use of the Public or Common Schools in the United States. This wonderful work was produced by Asa Smith, the Principal of Public School No. 12, in New York City. He notes that the purpose was “to present all distinguishing principles in physical Astronomy with as few words as possible; but with such ocular demonstrations, by way of diagrams and maps, as shall make the subject easily understood.”
This print is from Das Illustrierte Mississippithal (The Valley of the Mississippi Illustrated). In the late 1840’s, Henry Lewis traveled the length of the Mississippi and, with the assistance of other artists, assembled a collection of sketches detailing scenery of the entire river. Based on these drawings, Lewis proceeded to paint a panorama on a continuous length of canvas which would be moved and viewed through a frame. In the fall of 1848, the completed piece (hundreds and hundreds of feet in length), began its tour of American cities. A European tour followed and while in Dusseldorf, in 1853, Lewis teamed up with the publisher Heinrich Arnz to redo the sketches as lithographs, illustrating a book on Mississippi scenery. While production was sporadic and relatively unprofitable, the resulting seventy-eight lithographs provide a early and remarkably complete record of the Mississippi River.
This etching by 20th century printmaker John Taylor Arms (1887-1953) is one of many in his oeuvre to include moons or moonlight. The print is an edition of 100 in color and 75 in black and white. This particular impression is an artist proof, and was printed by Frederick Reynolds. Reynolds was born in London, immigrating to New York in 1911 to establish himself as an artist in the United States. He was an etcher and mezzotint engraver, and operated his own printing studio in New York. In addition to his own works, Reynolds printed for other artists, including Arms.
Above are a selection of moon-related prints and drawings from our 20th century and contemporary printmakers. While varying in style and technique, all depict the moon and it’s luminescence casting light and shadows throughout the foreground, making for some very interesting compositions.