Coppernickers or: Copernicus, in polite society.

Not the best photo but here is a picture of the man who put the Sun at the centre of the Universe

On Wednesday we went to the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, with the intention of seeing this painting which had recently come to London with much fanfare within the Polish community. It is the first time it has been displayed in England and my photos do not do it justice in anyway. But I photographed the captions because I thought they give a good idea of why knowledge about Copernicus is important in the modern English speaking world. In my experience very few people have even heard of him, let alone are aware of his nationality.

About Matejko the painter, I have my reservations. I find him instructional rather than aesthetic. But then I don’t know enough about Art.

It was, however, very edifying that this small yet important exhibition had a room all to itself in the National Gallery, and very few people were allowed in at anyone time. As we went in, a Japanese family with four little girls were coming out. I wonder what they made of it?

I will let the rest of the photos speak for themselves.

Not the best photo but I think you can read it.
This is important because it is always hard to understand the partitions of Poland. Yet people in all areas retained their sense of Polishness – and especially their language.
One of the most beautiful items in the exhibition – until now I did not know what an astrolabe looked like though I had come across it several times in literature.

For me this was the most exciting piece in the exhibition. A book, written by Copernicus and printed in Nuremberg. This is why Latin is still so important.

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And finally a torquetum. I’d never even heard of this before. A pity this is a replica!

So that’s it. A lot of history and art condensed into a few objects. Have you been? What did you think?

5 comments on “Coppernickers or: Copernicus, in polite society.

  1. I haven’t been, didn’t even know it was on and I doubt that I will get time to go.
    The last time I went to the National Gallery I sat and stared into Blake’s sunset behind the (Fighting) Temeraire.
    However, I did know Kopernik was Polish and the first time I went to Torun, I posed for a ‘selfie’ next to his monument in the old town. I say ‘selfie’, my partner Kath had to actually take the photo as old Mikołaj on his plinth stands a good deal higher than I do. 😀

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  2. You got me at the title 🙂 While scanning my email, I couldn’t resist. Just imagine what a struggle it must of been for him to convince everyone of something we now take for granted. 🙂 Lovely photos. Thanks for sharing Basia! P.S. Loving your photos on instagram! x

    Like

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