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Paper: Elsheimer, Galileo, and The Flight into Egypt
Volume: 441, The Inspiration of Astronomical Phenomena VI
Page: 23
Authors: Howard, D.; Longair, M. S.
Abstract: Elsheimer's The Flight into Egypt is famous as the first apparently naturalistic rendering of the night sky. It was painted at almost exactly the same date as the invention of the telescope and predated Galileo's discoveries described in his Sidereus Nuncius of 1610. This paper, a follow-up to that of Howard (1992), discusses the history of the discovery of the telescope through this period and assesses how realistically Elsheimer depicted the sky. It is argued that the sky was not one that Elsheimer could ever have seen and that the painting is more a religious iconographic text than an accurate representation of the sky.
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