Reinier Ottens (1698-1750) and Josua Ottens (1704-65), Atlas Major (1745)

Hemisphaerium coeli Australe

Joachim Ottens, father and founder of the print- and map-sellers firm, was by profession a copper engraver. After his death in 1719, two of his sons, Reinier and Josua, along with his widow continued the business. Otten's greatest fame came from the multi-volume atlases of Dutch maps assembled to order like the Atlas Major. This atlas contains star maps for both the northern and southern hemispheres in flat planispheric form centered on the ecliptic poles. The Southern hemisphere, shown above, depicts constellations with strong color images that nearly overwhelm the astronomical details.

Courtesy of the Wisconsin State Historical Society