On the invention of the telescope and the paintings of Jan Brueghel

Dr. Paolo Molaro

Abstract

Jan Brueghel depicted telescopes in four paintings spanning the period between 1609 and 1621. We have investigated the nature and the origin of these telescopes. An optical "tube" that appears in the painting dated 1608-1612, and probably reproduced also in a painting of the 1621, represents one the earliest documentation of a Dutch spyglass which could even tentatively attributed to Sacharias Janssen or Lipperhey, thus prior to those made by Galileo. Other two instruments made of several draw-tubes which appear in the two paintings of 1617 and 1618 are quite sophisticated for the period and we argue that may represent early examples of Keplerian telescopes.

About the talk

On the invention of the telescope and the paintings of Jan Brueghel
Dr. Paolo Molaro
INAF, Osservatorio di Trieste, Italy
Monday January 26, 2009 - 0:00  (Aula)
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