Jonicus, the First Astronomer (detail), from World Chronicle (text in German), Regensburg, Bavaria, about 1400-1410; artist unknown and author, Rudolf von Ems. The J. Paul Getty Museum

The Wondrous Cosmos in Medieval Manuscripts


The Getty Center

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The cosmos—full of shining stars and orbiting planets—inspired study and devotion among scientists, theologians, and artists alike during the Middle Ages. The belief in angels, demons, and spirits moreover materialized in wondrous works of art, especially on the pages of illuminated manuscripts. Awe-inspiring cosmic phenomena informed every aspect of one’s physical, mental, and spiritual well-being in the premodern world. This exhibition invites you to explore the complexity of the celestial realm in medieval European faith and science traditions.

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