Project Description

Terrestrial and Celestial Globes
restoration of Vincenzo Coronelli’s Globes, Seminario Patriarcale, Venice

project 
restoration of Vincenzo Coronelli’s Globes, 1678 ca.

location
Seminario Patriarcale, Venice

project director
Soprintendenza belle arti e
paesaggio di Venezia e laguna

contractor
Sara Gottoli

funding
Venice Real Estate – KnightFrank
Venetian Heritage

start date
July 2020

end date
in progress

cost 
€ 40.574,00

Vincenzo Coronelli was most likely born in Venice in 1650. After his first studies as an apprentice xylographer, in 1663 he was accepted into the Conventual Franciscans, becoming a novice. A little before 1678 he began working as geographer, building for Louis XIV a pair of huge manuscripts globes, celestial and terrestrial, whose printed reductions he put on the market in the following years.
Back in Venice, after having spend a couple of years in France, Coronelli set up a laboratory in his Frari Convent: there books illustrated by views and plans, astronomical and geographical maps and globes of various sizes were produced with the collaboration of confreres and workmen. Thanks to this, Coronelli was identified for more than twenty years the most famous globemaker in Europe. Furthermore, in the same years he founded the “Accademia degli Argonauti”, the first geographical society of the world.
Nowadays, Coronelli’s Globes are displayed in different places such as: the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (François Mitterrand) in Paris, the National Library of Austria and the Globe Museum in Vienna, the British Library, the Biblioteca Civica of Bergamo, the Ransom Center at the University of Texas in Austin and, finally, The Biblioteca Marciana and the Seminario Patriarcale in Venice.

As often happens in these works, the most obvious additions and damages are located near the equator and in the southern hemisphere, a clear sign of traumas occurred during displacements, rubbings due to friction with the base, the meridian and the horizon band. The terrestrial globe, object of a restoration at the end of the last century, has darkened and yellowed due to the application of organic glues and varnishes that have altered the chromatic and topographic reading. The celestial globe shows the same alterations that have made it difficult to read the constellations.