This article places the famous images of Johannes Hevelius's instruments in his Machina Coelestis (1673) in the context of Hevelius's contested cometary observations and his debate with Hooke over telescopic sights. Seen thus, the images promote a crafted vision of Hevelius's astronomical practice and skills, constituting a careful self-presentation to his distant professional network and a claim as to which instrumental techniques guarantee accurate observations. Reviewing the reception of the images, the article explores how visual rhetoric may be invoked and challenged in the context of controversy, and suggests renewed analytical attention to the role of laboratory imagery in instrumental cultures in the history of science.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- History and Philosophy of Science