26 Feb 2013 19:49 UTCTue 26 Feb 2013 - 7:49 pm UTC
I seek the background story about this compass rose in the Galileo museum in Florence, Italy:
What can you tell me about it?
26 Feb 2013 20:45 UTCTue 26 Feb 2013 - 8:45 pm UTC
Presumably, you have already seen this background note:
I'll try to find more.
26 Feb 2013 21:10 UTCTue 26 Feb 2013 - 9:10 pm UTC
Here are some similar looking windroses in the "Catalogue of the Museo Galileio's instruments on display" (November 2012):
Horizontal dial [Inv. 134] page (catalogue) 33
Horizontal dial (incomplete) [Inv. 2466] page 36
Anemoscope [Inv. 848] page 375
26 Feb 2013 22:40 UTCTue 26 Feb 2013 - 10:40 pm UTC
Thank you q21 for your information. I am looking for specific information on the compass rose image itself. I appreciate your searching.
26 Feb 2013 22:53 UTCTue 26 Feb 2013 - 10:53 pm UTC
I'm not sure exactly what you're after here.
Wind roses like the one you linked to were the predecessors of magnetic compasses, and were used as a means of indicating the directions of the main winds. You can see a write-up in the History section of this Wikipedia article:
The rose has four main quadrants, as indicated on your diagram by the inner circle of numbers, which divide each quadrant into degrees, from 0 to 90.
In addition to the four major directions/winds, the roses were typically subdivided to represent lesser winds, typically 8 or 16, but sometimes up to 32, as indicated by the outer circle of numbers on your wind rose.
The fleur de lis in the North is also traditional, as Wikipedia notes.
You can see another 32-wind rose on page 394 of the museum catalog that Q21 linked you to:
Is that the sort of back story you're looking for?
27 Feb 2013 00:34 UTCWed 27 Feb 2013 - 12:34 am UTC
Thank you for your information and for searching this question. I am actually trying to find out specifically about the wind rose in the Galileo museum as shown in the image. Who drew it and at what location? Is it a painting? Where is the image currently located for viewing? This is what I seek.
27 Feb 2013 06:58 UTCWed 27 Feb 2013 - 6:58 am UTC
This appears to be the same picture:
According to the description it is a "Compass Rose taken from a old map (17th century)".
It is also displayed at the beginning of the music video "Elephant Gun":
But I still have no idea where the image is currently located for viewing.
27 Feb 2013 10:33 UTCWed 27 Feb 2013 - 10:33 am UTC
Good morning q21
Thank you for the links.
The reason I seek the location is that I have a friend currently in Florence and he went to the Galileo museum on my behalf seeking the image as it is in their online gallery. Once physically located in the building it was anticipated there would be information nearby. A walk through the museum failed to locate the compass rose but that doesn't mean it wasn't there. Museums have a great way of sometimes confusing visitors... or maybe it is not on display. I reviewed the museum catalogue (quite an exhaustive and well put together document) and I did not find it.
The challenge remains.
I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to look for this elusive image.
27 Feb 2013 11:02 UTCWed 27 Feb 2013 - 11:02 am UTC
This is a partial answer only. I have identified the book where this Wind Rose comes from, but there are 594 maps and plates to go through to find on which it appears.
The image is on one of the maps and prints which were published as part of the Atlas Maior, Sive Cosmographia Blaviana. Latin edition published in Amsterdam. See this Wikipedia page for detailed information this publication and earlier publications in which it may appear.
There are a few websites which confirm this as the source. There is a poster of it for sale on a Spanish website which has additional text with it.
Google translated version
Rosa Joan Blaeu wind with the 32 winds of the world, the "Atlas Maior, Sive Cosmographia Blaviana", 1662 located in a private collection. Joan Blaeu was German artist. The wind rose to 32 winds of the world, the "Atlas Maior, Sive Cosmographia Blaviana", 1662 was created around 1662 AD.
Original Spanish text:
El rosa de viento con los 32 vientos del mundo, del "atlas Maior, Sive Cosmographia Blaviana", 1662 era hacia 1662 ANUNCIO creado.
Also at the Bookman Art Library
You will see in the Wikipedia article that there are modern reproductions available. The original publication will probably found in a national library or museum.
Online, digital images of the earlier versions can be found on those links shown on Wikipedia. The best of which seems to be
But does not display well on my ipad (I'm not near at PC)
I'm sorry this a partial answer but I am restricted mainly by the ipad capabilities. Perhaps someone can spot the page it appears on. I will have access to a PC perhaps by the week-end.
27 Feb 2013 11:06 UTCWed 27 Feb 2013 - 11:06 am UTC
I notice that the rose is a different colour. Perhaps the answer for this is because of the various different publications and versions.
27 Feb 2013 17:02 UTCWed 27 Feb 2013 - 5:02 pm UTC
Phil - how did you do this? Great work even if we are only part way to the answer. You Researchers and the occasional peanut amaze me. Love your work!
27 Feb 2013 17:12 UTCWed 27 Feb 2013 - 5:12 pm UTC
If the wind rose is, in fact, from the Atlas Maior -- or some similar source -- then thousands of copies of the book were printed. I imagine many of them survive today and can be found in numerous collections. No one entity owns the copyright to the original image, though they may have a legit claim to a particular photo of a page that they've published.
28 Feb 2013 09:49 UTCThu 28 Feb 2013 - 9:49 am UTC
I have sent an email to the musuem requesting the information. I hope that they will respond.
28 Feb 2013 13:13 UTCThu 28 Feb 2013 - 1:13 pm UTC
I am pleased to say the museum has kindly replied to my inquiry. I quote from their reply.
"... this image was taken from the following book (that is in our collection):
Blaeu, Willem Janszoon, 1571-1638
Le grand atlas, ou, Cosmographie Blaviane [Materiale cartografico] : en
laquelle est exactement descripte la Terre, la mer et le ciel. A Amsterdam
: chez Jean Blaeu, 1667.
The name of this illustration is: Table contenant les noms des XXXII vents."
So this is the French edition published two years after the Latin version. I have found a digital version on
See page 41 for one image of the Windrose. There may others but I struggling with my ipad.
The colouring is different. However, I still stick to my suggestion that hand colouring of the prints would vary from book to book, edition to edition. These books, afterall, were very expensive and almost made to order for prestigious clients.
I hope this answers your question.