Gravure sur bois de Flammarion

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The Flammarion Woodcut is an enigmatic woodcut by an unknown artist. It is referred to as the Flammarion Woodcut because its first documented appearance is in page 163 of Camille Flammarion's L'atmosphère: météorologie populaire (Paris, 1888), a work on meteorology for a general audience. The woodcut depicts a man peering through the Earth's atmosphere as if it were a curtain to look at the inner workings of the universe.

The original caption bellow the picture, (not included here), translated to: "A medieval missionary tells that he has found the point where heaven and Earth meet...".

"Flat Earth"[edit]

"During the 19th century, the Romantic conception of a European "Dark Age" gave much more prominence to the Flat Earth model than it ever possessed historically. The widely circulated woodcut of a man poking his head through the firmament of a flat Earth to view the mechanics of the spheres, executed in the style of the 16th century cannot be traced to an earlier source than Camille Flammarion's L'Atmosphere: Météorologie Populaire (Paris, 1888, p. 163) [1]. The woodcut illustrates the statement in the text that a medieval missionary claimed that "he reached the horizon where the earth and the heavens met", an anecdote that may be traced back to Voltaire, but not to any known medieval source. In its original form, the woodcut included a decorative border that places it in the 19th century; in later publications, some claiming that the woodcut did, in fact, date to the 16th century, the border was removed. Flammarion, according to anecdotal evidence, had commissioned the woodcut himself. In any case, no source of the image earlier than Flammarion's book is known. (quote from Flat Earth)