Publisher Information: 1892.
Rudaux, Lucien (1874-1947). (1) Observations de Mars. Illustrated autograph document signed, in French. 3-1/2pp. on three sheets. Donville, ca. August 1892. (2) Autograph letter signed, in French, most likely to G. Secretan, manufacturer of scientific instruments; includes sheet with drawings of Mars. 4pp. on 3 sheets. Donville, 9 October 1892. “De la part de M. Secretan” inscribed in pencil on the first sheet in another hand. Together 2 items, 6 sheets total. Approx. 300 x 202 mm. Edges a bit frayed, small tears along some folds. Very good.
Excellent illustrated manuscript and letter by Lucien Rudaux, one of the founders of modern space art, who was the first to create accurate images of our moon and Mars. The Rudaux crater on Mars, and the Lucien Rudaux Memorial Award honoring masters of space art, are both named for him. He was the author of Sur les autres mondes (1937), a classic work containing over 400 illustrations of our solar system’s planets and moons. “Never before had readers seen such an accurate and spectacular depiction of the worlds of the solar system. So accurate were [Rudaux’s] paintings that many of them look as though they were done last year instead of more than 70 years ago” (Miller).
Rudaux’s “Observations de Mars,” which he wrote when he was just 18, contains 10 beautifully rendered ink and wash drawings of Mars made between June 10 and August 15, 1892 in Donville, Normandy, using a 95 mm. lunette (small telescope) manufactured by the firm of G. Secretan. Each illustration is accompanied by Rudaux’s notes detailing times, weather conditions and observed planetary features, including the Martian “seas” and polar icecaps. His letter of October 9, 1892, most likely written to Secretan, Rudaux expressed his satisfaction with “votre excellente lunette” [your excellent lunette] and enclosed a further series of eight Mars observations taken during the month of September.
" I was more favored by the weather during this month than during the month of August. I communicated the observations for this month and those for July to M. C. Flammarion, who found the results remarkable for an objective of this dimension (as he said in the October number of L’Astronomie). I believe these new observations to be more interesting that the others; in fact, on 11 September between 8:30 and 10:30 I distinctly perceived a canal . . . " (translation ours).
“Flammarion” refers to astronomer Camille Flammarion (1842-1925), author of the classic La Planète Mars et ses Conditions d’Habitabilité (1892) and editor of the journal L’Astronomie. Miller, Ron, “The First Science Artist to Draw Accurate Pictures of Mars and the Moon.” io9, io9.Gizmodo.com, 16 Jan. 2012. Accessed 1/12/18.Book Id: 44548