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Ernest Mouchez (1821-1892), navy officer, observed the transit of Venus from Saint-Paul Island in the south of the Indian Ocean.

When becoming the director of Paris observatory in 1878, he ordered to Dupain, a painting for the ceiling of the Council room of the observatory.

The artist made it in 1886: the magnificent Venus is near to pass in front of Phoebus (Appollo), god of the light, standing on his cart...

Three medallions represent Halley, Delisle and Le Verrier (from left to right), famous astronomers who studied the transits of Venus during the XVIIIth and XIXth centuries.