[ISHMap-List] Wind faces in celestial maps / globes of the 1500s

Jill Carrington jcarrington at sfasu.edu
Tue Jul 7 19:17:08 CEST 2015

Dear List:

There are wind faces surrounding relief sculptures of both a terrestrial and a celestial globe that are part of the funerary monument of Tommaso Rangone on the facade of the church of San Giuliano, Venice, c. 1558-1560.  They flank the bronze statue of Rangone as part of a fictive study space.
The terrestrial globe is encircled by 7 wind faces; the 8th one that would be at the top is not included.
The slightly larger celestial globe is encircled by 15 wind faces; again, what would be the 16th at the top is left out.
I understand that the wind faces reference God’s breath or spirit in the Bible in the case of the celestial globe.

I need help finding celestial maps from the sixteenth century or earlier that show wind faces around either hemisphere.
I am also at a loss to account for the difference in the number of wind heads for each globe. Why not 8 around each one? I read somewhere that 8 or 12 wind heads would be the norm in celestial maps, if wind heads are shown. There must be a precedent for the 16 shown here.

Many thanks in advance,


Jill Carrington
Professor of Art History
School of Art
2124 Wilson Drive North
Stephen F. Austin State University
Nacogdoches TX  75962-3001

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