Astronomer Copernicus or Conservations with God



          Astronomer Copernicus, or Conservations with God is an oil painting by Jan Matejko. It was completed in 1873. It depicts Nicolaus Copernicus observing the heavens from a balcony. Behind his current location is a cathedral in Frombork, a town in Poland. As we can see, Copernicus is watching the heavens while the transition from night to dawn is occuring. Parts of the items near him are related to his astronimical work. For example, the flat bright board beside him is his Heliocentric model. This is a model in which he positioned the sun and the rest of the planets based on his own theory of the universe. The scene portrays a divine perspective because the way he is looking at the heavens must have something to do with the astonimical tools beside him. There is a balance of light around him that the Matejko targeted so we can realize that it is vital for the scenario he put. The scene make the dark colors seem dramatic in contrast with the bright colors. Copernicus’s insight, or more of an epiphany is attained from the illumination around him.

Scholars long ago, as well as modern scholars, were/are searching for the exact location where Copernicus is shown in the art piece. It turns out to be that Jan Matejko made the painting fictional. The cathedral is actually located in Frombork, Portland, but no where near it is a balcony as shown.

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