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Digital Subscriptions > Antiques Trade Gazette > 2292 > Maligned master of the universe

Maligned master of the universe

‘Heretical’ Galileo planetary work which horrified the Inquisition is star lot in Paris auction

Following the publication in 1632 of his Dialogo…, Galileo found himself hauled before the Inquisition and tried for his heretical views.

This was a work which offered both a defence of the Copernican, heliocentric view of the solar system and a risky portrayal of his old friend and protector Maffeo Baberini, Pope Urban III. The pope is depicted as one of the three figures who discuss the merits of Copernican proposal – the simple-minded ‘Simplicius’, an adherent to the old Ptolemaic and Aristotelian theories.

Galileo was found guilty, but though his original sentence of life imprisonment was commuted to house arrest, the printing of any of his works was forbidden and the Dialogo… itself remained on the Catholic church’s ‘Index Librorum Prohibitorum’ for another 200 years.

A distraught Galileo was eventually persuaded by a more sympathetic churchman, Ascenio Piccolomini, Archbishop of Siena, to produce a work that pulled together his life’s work in physics.

Discorsi e dimostrazioni matematiche… refers in the extended title to …due nove scienze, the engineering science of the strength of materials and the mathematical science of kinematics, but the work also deals with uniform and accelerated motion and parabolic trajectories.

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About Antiques Trade Gazette

Antiques Trade Gazette is the essential publication for everyone with a serious interest in art, antiques and collectables. Every week it is packed with up-to-the-minute news on the market, with individual items beautifully illustrated throughout. Since 1971 it has been the most reliable source of information on what is really happening at auctions in the UK and around the world. Each issue is filled with auction advertisements and detailed auction reports written by expert journalists. The Dealer’s Diary section keeps readers constantly updated on what is happening at the fairs and markets and in the galleries and shops. Market professionals and serious collectors throughout the world rely on ATG to keep them informed on developments and issues which shape the art market. It is here that they learn about the prices achieved at auction in every area - from antiquities to pop memorabilia, from impressionist paintings to Chinese art. With 500 or more art objects pictured, every issue is a treat to the eye and a visual education. Whatever the topic Antiques Trade Gazette is well-informed, up-to-date and entertaining.

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