Aug 24, 2006

The Empyrean Sphere (from the Tarocchi, series A: Firmaments of the Universe, #50)

The Empyrean Sphere (from the Tarocchi, series A: Firmaments of the Universe, #50)

before 1467

Part of a set. See all set records

Master of the E-Series Tarocchi

(Italian, 15th century)


Dudley P. Allen Fund 1924.432.50

Catalogue raisonné: Hind E.I. 50a



This engraving is part of the Tarocchi group marked with the letter “A”, and named Firmaments of the Universe. This series comprises the seven planets from the classical astronomy (Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn) and the three celestial spheres that separate them from the Supreme Entity (Prima Causa) from which everything was originated.

Here, Prima Causa (First Cause) personified God himself. It is shown as concentric circles representing the surface of the imaginary sphere on which celestial bodies appear to be projected. This is a diagram of the universe. It displays earth at the center and make up of four circles standing for the four elements (earth, water, air, and fire). Beyond earth are the seven circles symbolizing each planet. It follows the primum mobile and finally the three radiant circles of the Trinity.

See also
PR - Engraving
Type of artwork: 
Credit line: 
Dudley P. Allen Fund

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