[Celestial map: Cetus, Aquarius, Andromeda and other constellations]
PARDIES, Ignace-Gaston

[Celestial map: Cetus, Aquarius, Andromeda and other constellations]

ca 1674 - 1700
Size : 50,5 x 72 cm
Color : Hand Colored
Condition : Small marginal restoration expertly done
Technique : Copper engraving
Reference : 442-36
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The constellation map of Cetus, Aquarius, Andromeda, Pegasus and Aries characterized by Pardies exquisite artistry. 

The second and most attractive plate out of the series of six star and constellation maps by Ignace Gaston Pardies enhanced with colors. This sky chart shows the mythological characters Cetus, Andromeda, Pegasus, Eridanus, Phoenix, Grus, Notius, and Caper. It also indicates  the signs of Aries, Pisces, and Aquarius; and it is rich with detailed indications of the paths of several comets, such as: the comet observed by Cassini year 1665, and others observed over many years including 1585, 1672, 1681, 1685.... In fact, all editions of Pardies' Atlas depict the trajectories of historically famous and important comets. The edition 1674 traces the comets of 1577, 1607, 1619, 1664-1665. The 1690 adds comet Halley observed by Cassini 1682 and comet Newton observed in 1680. (Lachièze-Rey & Luminet, p. 104)

Pardies constellation projections are based on Bayer's Uranometria, however, he expertly combined his knowledge in mathematics and geometry with his artistry to apply the gnomonic map projection. His maps where highly accurate as he was known to be have corresponded with several European scientist and astronomers such as Isaac Newton, Christiaan Huygen, and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. The result was groundbreaking during the late 17th century, if the six charts were assembled they will form a cubic representation of the universe. 

These maps were later assembled and published by Father Jean de Fontaney in an atlas entitled Globi coelestis in tabulas planas that exists in three editions all published after Pardies' death. The first was published in 1674, the second edition was published in 1693 and the third edition in 1700. They consisted of six magnificent copperplate engravings by Guillaume Vallet (1632-1704), engraver to the king and member of the Academy of Painting and Sculpture. Two columns of parallel text in Latin and French were added on the left and right margines of each plate. The texts included explanations on how to read the constellations with examples.


LACHIEZE-REY, M. & LUMINET J.P. (1998). Figures du Ciel ... Seuil / Bibliothèque nationale de France.

Médiathèques de Pau-Béarn-Pyrénées. Globi coelestis in tabulas planas, l'Atlas d'Ignace-Gaston Pardies. https://mediatheques.agglo-pau.fr/patrimoine/tresors-et-coups-de-coeur/988-globi-coelestis-in-tabulas-planas-l-atlas-d-ignace-gaston-pardies.

SANCHEZ, Jean-Christophe. L’astronomie dans le Sud-Ouest de la France au XVIIe siècle. In : Annales du Midi : revue archéologique, historique et philologique de la France méridionale, Tome 121, N°265, 2009. Le temps de la grande couronne d'Aragon. pp. 57-79. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3406/anami.2009.7251

PARDIES, Ignace-Gaston

Ignace-Gaston Pardies, a 17th century scholar from Béarn was born in 1636. He became a Jesuit in 1652, at the age of 16, and studied philosophy and physics in Toulouse with the mathematician Pierre Fermat. He then became a professor at the Collège Louis-le-Grand in Paris.  He was known to be close to several European scholars, he was the correspondent of Isaac Newton, and was one of the pioneers of the wave theory of light, which he identified with a harmonic vibration. His most famous work "Discours de la connaissance des bêtes"  was published just a year before his death in 1673. In the history of cartography he was know for his magnificent six celestial maps depicting the sky as seen from the earth.