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The Generation and Dissolution of Images

The Generation and Dissolution of Images

Chapter:
(p.6) 1 The Generation and Dissolution of Images
Source:
Galileo's Idol
Author(s):
Nick Wilding
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226167022.003.0002

This chapter delves behind the literary figure of Sagredo created by Galileo as an interlocutor in his two final masterpieces, the Dialogo (1632) and Discorsi (1638), to explore the historical reality visible through traces in archives and museums. Although most of the correspondence between Galileo and Sagredo is lost, three portraits of Sagredo by Leandro and Gerolamo Bassano, and much personal and official archival material has here been located. One of these portraits, now in the Ashmolean Museum, is particularly rich iconographically, featuring the Pharos of Alexandria, a Persian kilim presented to Sagredo by Shah Abbas, and a Venetian commissione dogale. These discoveries, it is argued, are important as much for their testimony of the dissolution of a historical persona as their ability to reconstruct a faded aura.

Keywords:   Pharos of Alexandria, Leandro Bassano da Ponte, Gerolamo Bassano da Ponte, Shah Abbas I of Persia, Shah Abbas the Great, Dialogue of the Two Chief World Systems, Discourses and Mathematical Demonstrations Relating to Two New Sciences, Ashmolean Museum, Zhytomyr Regional Museum

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