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The Medici and Science: Instruments and Machines in the Grand-Ducal Collections

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Great patrons of the arts, the Medici also generously supported the sciences for nearly three centuries, starting with Cosimo the Elder (1389-1464) up to Gian Gastone (1671-1737). The relationship between power and science had a double dimension. Profoundly convinced that scientific knowledge and the technological control of nature conferred solidity and prestige on political power, the Medici clairvoyantly encouraged the work of astronomers, mathematicians and natural philosophers, while gathering one of the most extraordinary collections of mathematical instruments and naturalistic artefacts. The exhibition aims to underline the leading role of physical/mathematical sciences in celebrating the dynastic splendour of Tuscan Grand Dukes by guiding visitors through different sites related to the Medici collections.

 

Exhibition Dates

15.05.2008 – 11.01.2009 Florence, Museo degli Argenti
04.04.2009 – 07.09.2009 Philadelphia, The Franklin Institute
  (Galileo, the Medici and the Age of Astronomy)