Astronomer by Candlelight (detail), c. 1665, oil on panel, arched top, 32 x 21.2 (12 5/8 x 8 3/8), The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles


The Hourglass

The hourglass at the figure's left, like the compass, was a common attribute of both geometry and astronomy. In addition, it serves as a reminder to make good use of time. Here the emphasis is on the assiduousness of the astronomer, who is hard at work late into the night.

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