25. Globo Celeste

25. Giovanni M. Cassini, 1790s
Globo Celeste
Smith Collection: SM-1792-9

Giovanni Maria Cassini was one of the three major Italian globemakers between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. However, some scholars argue that Cassini’s globes were not as sophisticated as those made in London or Paris. But nevertheless, Cassini’s globes were very popular, and thus he is still considered an “important engraver” in globe history. His real expertise was in the production of atlases and sheet maps. His atlas, Nuovo Atlante geografico universale, also published in 1792, is considered his masterpiece.

Giovanni Maria Cassini was an Italian globemaker of the 18th century. Cassini’s globes are our only Italian globes from the time, and they feature stylistic imagery and simple elegance. Although their design is simpler compared to British and French globes made during their time, the globes are still as practical as they are beautiful.

On Cassini’s celestial globe, you may notice that some of the stars are larger than others. Through the size of the stars on the globe, Cassini creatively represented their magnitude, or luminosity.