Prints, drawings and watercolours, Fine art, Recent acquisitions

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L'Astrologue qui se laisse tomber dans un puits

ZBA4564
Prints, drawings and watercolours

Object connections:

Collection Prints, drawings and watercolours, Fine art, Recent acquisitions
Gallery locationNot on display

Object details:

Object ID ZBA4564
Description The image is an illustration for one of the fables written by Jean La Fontaine (1621-1695), 'The astrologer who stumbled into a well'. The tale, which attacks astrology as a means of predicting the future, opens with the words: An Astologer once fell incontinently down a well. 'How can you claim to read the sky, poor fool, who cannot keep your eye on where your feet are!', came the cry According to La Fontaine, the astrologer is so engrossed with fruitless his musings about the future that he does not see what is right in front of him. Although the original fable does not mention a telescope, merely those who observe the heavens as a predicitive tool, many editions included images of the astrologer further distracted by the instrument, still looking through it as he falls into the well. The idea of the natural philosopher or scientist distracted from practical earthly concerns as he looks through his telescope was already well established by the late seventeenth century.
Date made 19th century

Artist/Maker Engelmann I, Godefroy
Place made France
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials paper; lithograph
Measurements Overall: 257 mm x 388 mm
Parts
  • L'Astrologue qui se laisse tomber dans un puits (ZBA4564)
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