Using the axisartist Toolkit

In this chapter, we will learn how to use various features of the axisartist toolkit through the following recipes:

  • Understanding attributes in axisartist
  • Defining curvilinear grids in rectangular boxes
  • Defining polar axes in rectangular boxes
  • Using floating axes for a rectangular plot
  • Creating polar axes using floating axes
  • Plotting planetary system data on floating polar axes


The primary motivation for developing the axisartist toolkit is to support curvilinear grids, such as those used for plotting planetary systems in astronomy. It helps in plotting graphs with curved axes on both rectangular and polar axes, and can also assist in plotting graphs with floating axes.

axisartist uses a custom Axes class derived from the main Axes class of Matplotlib, where each axis (left, bottom, top, and right) is managed by a separate artist. They are accessed by ax.axis["left"], ax.axis["bottom"], ax.axis["top"], and ax.axis["right"], since ax.axis acts like a dictionary. We can also define additional axes as required.