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(Italian, 15th century)
Dudley P. Allen Fund 1924.432.48
Catalogue raisonné: Hind E.I. 48a
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, Octava Spera (Eight Sphere or the Angel of the Eight Sphere) is personified as a full-length winged figure, turned to left, and holding up a starry sphere in its hands. This stationary angel embodies the firmament as a fixed pattern of stars, which according to Ptolemaic thought was believed to revolve around the planet earth.
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