A set of paintings inspired by the asteroid discoveries of nineteenth century painter and astronomer Hermann Goldschmidt (1802-66). Goldschmidt discovered the twenty-first minor planet, which he named Lutetia in honour of his city of residence, Paris. By the time of his death he had discovered a further thirteen asteroids.
Evidence about Goldschmidt is sparse. There are references to him in contemporary letters and journals, and his own entries to the Astronomy News and Astonomical Journal, but otherwise he is a figure in the background of life in mid nineteenth century Paris. Prosper Merimée wrote of him:
Le Ministre d’Etat promet de commander un tableau à M. Goldschmidt en votre considération et en celle de M. de Humboldt, mais il paraît entre nous qu’il s’entend mieux aux Etoiles qu’aux toiles. Letter to Madame de Circourt, Weds 10 March 1858
The initial painting series developed into a multimedia work available as a screensaver, Fly me to the Moon, and then into an interactive kiosk installation, The Sub-orbital Harmonic Resonator