Friday, May 15, 2009

Where the sky and the Earth touch

Our blog is different from the other HP blogs in that it is more whimsical, esoteric, and even eschatological. Most of all, it is different because we tend to use images in every post.

Nathan has a fancy camera and we shoot many of our own pictures. Others come from HP's Image & Video Library or from old clip art bought in the early days of the Web. One image that prompted several inquiries is this one:

Camille Flammarion: Un missionnaire du moyen âge raconte qu'il avait trouvé le point où le ciel et la Terre se touchent…

I had no idea of its origin. I can use it legally because I bought with some software on February 13, 1996. However, I cannot remember the circumstances, hence it remained a mystery. One reader of this blog, S. V. of the University College Dublin, finally solved the mystery.

It goes back to Camille Flammarion's 1888 book L'atmosphère: météorologie populaire. The wood engraving is described in the Wikipedia in the entry Flammarion woodcut.

The image shown in the Wikipedia is different from the one above. Our's is missing the title "Urbi et Orbi" and the coloration is different from that of Hugo Heikenwaelder, Vienna 1998.