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Crabtree Watching the Transit of Venus, 1639

Photo credit: Manchester Art Gallery

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Reduced version of mural painting depicting the astronomical observation of Venus passing across the sun by a draper called Crabtree. The figure is shown in an attic above his shop. He stands to the left, looking up in amazement; his pipe, stool and astronomical equipment lie on the floor, as a shaft of light from his telescope throws a reflection of the planet onto paper propped up on a table on far left. His wife sits on a chair behind him on the right, holding one of her children by the arm; a second child rests against its mother's left arm as she holds knitting in her left hand. In the background, another telescope stands on a large chest covered with drapery in the centre of the room. In the bottom right corner another person is visible through an open trapdoor, ascending a ladder.

Manchester Art Gallery





tempera on panel


H 26.4 x W 55.9 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

bequeathed by George Beatson Blair, 1947

Work type


Inscription description

Signed brc (monogram): FMB - 81 - 88


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Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester M2 3JL England

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