Vatican Observatory and the Arts: The Sculpture of John David Mooney at Castel Gandolfo

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Vatican Observatory and the Arts: The Sculpture of John David Mooney at Castel Gandolfo

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Description

A book about art is not the unusual undertaking that it might seem for the Vatican Observatory. As a scientific research institute of the Church it is dedicated to research in astrophysics and cosmology. But it has also over the past decade or so ventured into areas of interdisciplinary interest. Such adventuresome efforts are actually deeply rooted in the Observatory s traditions which can be traced back to the Tower of the Winds, a sixteenth-century monument to both art and science, that arises above the Vatican Museums in Rome. There we find beautiful frescoes depicting the four winds and serving as a backdrop to a meridian line which was used to observe the passage of the Sun with the seasons. The foreshadowings of the Vatican Observatory are here. In June 1994 the Observatory explored new territory as it entered for the first time into organized dialogue with the arts, literature, history, and the social sciences. The occasion was a conference on “The Inspiration of Astronomical Phenom