On Monday 29 January, at the Gallerie Nazionali di Arte Antica, a special event took place, as part of the exhibition The City of the Sun: Baroque Art and Scientific Thought in the Rome of Urban VIII. The event was focused on a work on display that deserves special attention: the Madonna and Child signed by "Ignatius Moliginus" (1642).
This is an extremely rare application of Galileo's microscope to the creation of an artistic and literary work. The Madonna and Child is in fact a calligram to be read with the microscope, as indicated by the inscription that frames the image. The entire surface of the work is traversed by very thin horizontal lines barely visible to the naked eye, but clearly identifiable with a magnifying glass as the lines of a microscopic script reproducing a book of litanies: the Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis.
By means of a digital microscope connected to a projector, during the event it was possible to see the writings greatly enlarged on a wall of the exhibition hall.