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Galileo’s Thinking Hand

Mannerism, Anti-Mannerism and the Virtue of Drawing in the Foundation of Early Modern Science

Translated by: Cohen Mitch

Contemporary biographies of Galilei emphasize, in several places, that he was a masterful draughtsman. In fact, Galilei studied at the art academy, which is where his friendship with Ludovico Cigoli developed, who later became the official court artist. The book focuses on this formative effect – it tracks Galilei’s trust in the epistemological strength of drawings. It also looks at Galilei’s activities in the world of art and his reflections on art theory, ending with an appreciation of his fame; after all, he was revered as a rebirth of Michelangelo. For the first time, this publication collects all aspects of the appreciation of Galilei as an artist, contemplating his art not only as another facet of his activities, but as an essential element of his research.

  • Explorations of Galileo’s art of drawing

  • Galileo as the "second Michelangelo"

  • Important contribution to an artistic epistemology

Author Information

Horst Bredekamp, Humboldt University of Berlin.
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Audience: Academics (Art history, history, philosophy, culture science)