For hundreds of years, artists have incorporated the spectacular sight of an eclipse into their paintings.
This 14th-century fresco by Taddeo Gaddi, found in the Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence, depicts an angel announcing the birth of the baby Jesus to shepherds during an eclipse.
A letter attributed to Gaddi, written between 1338 and 1348, suggests he suffered severe eye damage from looking directly at the sun during an eclipse, according to a study published in 2002 in the journal Meteorics and Planetary Science .
“For from days not long past I have suffered, and still suffer, from an unendurable infirmity of the eyes, which has been occasioned by my own folly. For while, this year, the Sun was in eclipse I looked at the Sun itself for a long period of time, and hence the infirmity,” he wrote in the letter.