This spectacular engraving is from Johann Zahn’s Specula physico – mathematico – historica notabilium ac mirabilium sciendorum in qua mundi mirabilis oeconomia. The work was published in Nuremberg in 1696 by Johann Christoph Lochner.
The work featured superb illustrations of cosmography and was a fascinating compendium of mathematics, astronomy, meteorology, geology, learning, and natural history. His work incorporated the theories of Copernicus and Tycho Brahe. It has been considered a condensed version of Athanasius Kircher’s works, though the content differs. The celestial maps are after Hevelius, maps of the sun and moon are from Eimmart, and one of the world maps is after Athanasius Kircher. There are some fanatasy type engravings in the work, as Zahn believed demons were an active force and could inhabit plants or animals.
Johann Zahn (1641-1707) was a German philosopher, cartographer, scientist and mathematician. He was an enlightenment scholar and best known for his contributions to the early development of photography from his work Oculus Artificialis. He was a prolific writer, illustrator, and engraver.