top of page



Heading 1

Dimensions: 18” H X 24” W X 1.5” D. Landscape orientation.  

Acrylic paint, open-sourced printed materials overlaid with high gloss varnish.

Original Artwork $750 + shipping.

Contact artist for purchase.

Nicolaus Copernicus

This collage showcases the achievements of Nicolaus Copernicus. He was born in Royal Prussia, which was part of Poland, on February 19, 1473. He was a true renaissance man who obtained a doctorate in cannon law, studied medicine, economics, mathematics, astronomy, and languages. He is best known for his astronomical model called Heliocentrism, in which the Earth and planets revolve around the Sun, which is located at the center of the solar system. Heliocentrism was a radical new model of the solar system because the church endorsed geocentrism, which placed the Earth at the center of the solar system. He published his seminal paper, De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres), outlining this theory in the last year of his life because he did not want to be excommunicated by his beloved church. Copernicus died on May 24, 1543, in Frombork, Poland. To find out more about the elements used in this collage, please see an explanation below.

Elements of Art









Canon Law 




Retrograde motion 




De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium 

(On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres)


Commentariolus (Brief Sketch)


3 graphics on upper left of work


Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.


Moon crater named after Copernicus 


The picture of Copernicus 


Signature of Nicolaus Copernicus

Explanation of Elements


02191473= Copernicus was born

05241543= Copernicus died


Heliocentrism is the cosmological theory that places the Sun (Helio) in the center of the solar system. The planets revolve around the Sun, not the Earth, as previous theories postulated.

A derivation in mathematics is the process of deducing a new formula from already accepted statements.


Medicine is the science of diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. Copernicus studied medicine at the University of Padua because he was going to administer to his sick uncle Bishop Lucas Watzenrode. 


Economics is the study of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. Copernicus served as the economic administrator of the city Warmia, advised Royal Prussia on monetary reform, and formulated what is now termed Gresham's law. Copernicus theorized that debased coinage drives un-debased coinage out of circulation.


Canon Law is the study of ecclesiastical law from the Roman Catholic Church. The laws were set forth by papal pronouncements. Copernicus studied at the University of Bologna, took his exams in Ferrara, and received his doctorate in Canon Law.


Astronomy is a natural science that studies celestial bodies. Copernicus began studying when he was attending the University of Bologna and continued to study astronomy at the University of Padua and the University of Ferrara.


Mathematics: Copernicus studied mathematics at the University of Krakow. His studies included geometry, geometric optics, cosmography, theoretical and computational astronomy. Due to his language ability, he was also able to study ancient Greek manuscripts such as the writings of Aristotle on Metaphysics.


Retrograde motion is the apparent motion of a planet in the opposite direction of the other bodies within a system.  Copernicus believed that Ptolemy's use of epicycles to explain retrograde motion was not elegant.  He decided that a retrograde motion could be easily and elegantly explained if the planets revolved around the Sun. 


In 1543, Copernicus published De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres). The work was comprised of six books. The first book and most famous discussed what came to be known as the Copernican theory of heliocentrism. He postulated that the planets revolved around the Sun, which was located at the center of the solar system. The theory of geocentrism placed the Earth at the center of the solar system and was the theory sanctioned by the church. Copernicus published this work in the last year of his life so as not to draw condemnation from the church.


Three graphics on the left illustrate how Copernicus determined that planets further from the Sun move more slowly in their orbits than planets closer to the Sun.


Figure 1: Determining an inferior planet's distance from the Sun. If Theta is the greatest elongation, D is the radius of the Earth's orbit, and d is the radius of the inferior planet's orbit.


Figure 2: Determining a superior planet's distance from the Sun using measurements at opposition and quadrature.


Figure 3: In time S, the superior planet will sweep out the angle Theta, while the Earth will complete one orbit plus the additional angle Theta.


Planets painted in the middle represent the planets Copernicus could see with his naked eye. They include Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.


The Moon crater named after Copernicus is located in eastern Oceanus Procellarum.


Signature of Nicolaus Copernicus


Copernicus's picture is a sixteenth-century oil painting, which hangs in the Town Hall of Torun, Poland. This may be a copy of a self-portrait sketched by Copernicus.


Copernicus's vision of the universe differed from Ptolemy's in that he placed the Sun at the center of his model with the planets revolving around the Sun in larger and larger circular orbits. (Kepler was the one who discovered that the planets' orbits were not circular).


Commentariolus (Brief Sketch) is a short version of his theory of heliocentrism. He sent it to several people around 1510 for review.


“Nicolaus Copernicus.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 29 Oct. 2020, 

bottom of page