Adam Schall Von Bell Wall Art

Adam Schall von Bell (Born 1591) was born in Cologne, Germany. He died on 15, August 1666 in Beijing, China. He was an astronomer and Jesuit missionary who became the chief adviser to the first emperor of the Qing dynasty. Schall von Bell was trained in Rome in the astronomical system of Galileo before he moved to China in 1622. Schall von Bell soon impressed the people in China with the superiority of Western astronomy. This made him to be given an important official position that involved reforming the old Chinese calendar and translating Western astronomical books. At the fall of the Ming dynasty and the establishment of the Qing dynasty by the Manchu forces of Manchuria, Schall von Bell got an appointment to head the Imperial Board of Astronomy. During his time in China the empress dowager fell sick with a strange illness and Schall von Bell cured her.

This is what made Schall von Bell to become the dependable and trusted adviser of the Shunzhi emperor who called him mafa (meaning “grandfather”). In 1650, he was permitted by the emperor to build a church in Beijing and several times the emperor attended services himself. The Shunzhi emperor died in 1661 and 3 years later, an anti-Christian official charged Schall von Bell l with plotting against the state. The official was aided by disgruntled Chinese astronomers and he cited Jesuit writings depicting the Chinese as inconsequential descendants of the ancient Hebrews. The official also claimed that it was Schall von Bell who had cast a spell that caused the death of Shunzhi prematurely. However, Schall von Bell was vindicated of all charges.

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