This blog attempts to collate various materials in connection with the year 1735.


St Benedict and a solar eclipse

Is this painting the earliest realistic depiction of a total eclipse of the Sun? Some historians believe so. The above painting was completed in 1735 by Cosmas Damian Asam, 1686-1739 (brother of Egid Quirin Asam), a famous early 18th Century painter and architect in Germany. The painting shows the solar corona and the diamond ring effect visible when sunlight flows only between mountains on the Moon. The person depicted viewing it all is St Benedict. Roberta J M Olson and Jay Pasachoff have hypothesised that Asam himself may have seen first hand one or all of the total solar eclipses of May 1706, 1724 and 1733. Asam's painting currently hangs in Weltenburg Abbey in Bavaria, Germany. It came to my attention as picture of the day on an astronomy site (see here). For more on Asam see here.

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