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The Line of the Sun

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This exhibition creates an imaginary route through the locations of monumental sundials in the city of Florence starting with major works in the Baptistery of Santa Maria del Fiore to 17th-century astronomical observatories. Astronomical studies, the calendar reform, time measurement for practical and religious purposes – first among them, determining the dates of mobile feasts like Easter – are some of the needs which led to sundial making. These studies also inspired mural paintings (such as the Celestial Hemispheres in San Lorenzo’s Sacrestia Vecchia and in the Cappella dei Pazzi) as well as mechanical inventions (such as Filippo Brunelleschi’s and Lorenzo della Volpaia’s tower clocks) and court installations (such as the Uffizi’s Tribune). The virtual exhibition allows one to explore the Florentine territory in search of the ancient sundials which still exist in convents, villas, towers, and historical buildings. It also gives one access to many other digital resources.


Exhibition Dates

21.03.2007 – 22.12.2007 Florence, Museo di Storia della Scienza