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Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto
On a possible portrait of the young Galileo: Galileo Galilei as you have never seen

Paolo Molaro
INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste

We describe the possible discovery of a new portrait of a relatively young Galileo Galilei. The painting is not signed and the identification is mainly physiognomic. The face reveals clear resemblance to Domenico Tintoretto's portrait and to Giuseppe Calendi's engraving derived from a lost portrait made by Santi di Tito. Along with the portraits by Tintoretto, Furini, Leoni, Passignano and Sustermans this could be another portrait of Galileo made al naturale, but, unlike the others, it depicts the scientist before he reached fame. Galileo in the painting looks rather young, at age of about 20-25 years. His eyes in the portrait are clear and the expression intense and appealing. The painter is also unknown but could be one of the many painters from the circle of Galileo's friends. From Galileo's correspondence we know of a portrait made by his friend Ludovico Cigoli. Rather interesting, though admittedly quite improbable, is the possibility of a self-portrait whose existence is mentioned in the first biography of Galileo by Salusbury in 1664. We conclude with some considerations on the Moon watercolors made by Galileo and used as a preparatory work for the engravings published in the Sidereus Nuncius.

25 May 2012, 13:30

Centro de Astrofísica
Rua das Estrelas
4150-762 Porto

Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences

Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences (IA) is a new but long anticipated research infrastructure with a national dimension. It embodies a bold but feasible vision for the development of Astronomy, Astrophysics and Space Sciences in Portugal, taking full advantage and fully realizing the potential created by the national membership of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO). IA resulted from the merging the two most prominent research units in the field in Portugal: the Centre for Astrophysics of the University of Porto (CAUP) and the Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics of the University of Lisbon (CAAUL). It currently hosts more than two-thirds of all active researchers working in Space Sciences in Portugal, and is responsible for an even greater fraction of the national productivity in international ISI journals in the area of Space Sciences. This is the scientific area with the highest relative impact factor (1.65 times above the international average) and the field with the highest average number of citations per article for Portugal.

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