The Illegal Practice of Astronomy
In the International Year of Astronomy, the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale of Florence and the Astrophysical Observatory of Arcetri pay tribute, with an exhibition, to the German astronomer Wilhelm Tempel, who lived and practised in Florence at the Observatory of Arcetri from 1875 until his death in 1885.
Displayed to the public for the first time are the drawings, the autograph writings, and the lithographs made by Tempel for his astronomical observations, conserved in the Archive of Florence's Observatory, in particular, the unpublished drawings of nebulae.
Another highlight of the exhibition is represented by the fascinating graphic and typographic elaborations realized by Max Ernst and by the great art editor Iliazd, in 1964, on the pages of the volume Maximiliana, ou l’exercise illégale de l’astronomie, inspired by the German astronomer's particular life story: Iliazd worked for two years on this book, even travelling to Florence, retracing the path and the places of Tempel, from the hills of Arcetri to the Arno, along which lies the Biblioteca Nazionale.
Excerpts from the memoirs and the letters are displayed in the intention of offering an original contribution to the deepening of the relationship between art and science, an enthralling topic that also inspired Tempel in his attempt to represent celestial space in a poetical manner.
The Illegal Practice of Astronomy: Max Ernst, Iliazd, Wilhelm Tempel
from 14 November to 3 December
Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale
Open Monday through Friday 10:00-12:30am/3:00-5:00pm
Closed on Sunday and holidays. Free admission.
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- Agenzia per il Turismo di Firenze (Florence Tourist Office)