Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Book fair produces fascinating discovery: Theatrum Italiae (1663)

Wired.com  (Joan Blaeu)

Not much text, but some great pictures.

Moving is never easy, and moving is especially difficult when you own a 327-ton Egyptian obelisk and you want it shifted 275 yards to sit right in front of the Vatican. Such was the task assigned to Italian engineer Domenico Fontana in 1586 and detailed in this illustration from Joan Blaeu’s Theatrum Italiae (see a high-res version here). Enlisting some 900 men and 75 horses, it took Fontana a year to move the 83-foot obelisk.

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