Copernicus (1473-1543), another Pole, was the astronomer who realised that the earth revolved around the sun, thereby establishing that science evolved through ideas, not religious authority.
Named Heliocentrism, (after Helios, Greek for the sun) this discovery was revolutionary yet Copernicus remarkably never broke with the church. The painting is in fact called Copernicus: Conversation with God.
More circles here again – you can see why I’m obsessed with them.
Jan Matejko is Poland’s most revered artist and patriot who specialised in painting historic figures and events from Polish history. One of his preliminary oil sketches below shows how meticulous his preparation was. The composition is already mapped out, even in such a small painting.
Just as interesting to me was the inclusion of astronomical instruments. This exquisitely crafted astrolabe, made by Hans Dorn in 1486, was used to calculate the position of the sun and stars.
Look at them punched into the back. Simply gorgeous.