Tomb of Galileo Galilei - Santa Croce Florence

walwyn Sat, 10/27/2012 - 22:47
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Galileo Tomb


The tomb of Galileo Galilei (d1642) at Santa Croce in Florence was erected in 1737. It was designed by Giulio Foggini and contains a bust of Galileo Galilei (by Giovanni Battista Foggini), and figures representing Astronomy (by Vincenzo Foggini), and Geometry (by Girolamo Ticciati)1.


When he died in 1642, the Inquisition at first refused to allow his burial on consecrated ground. They later relented, and his patron Grand Duke Ferdinando II planned a large memorial to him, and money was collected for a tomb. However Pope Urban VIII refused to allow it to be built and Galileo was buried in an unmarked corner of the church of Santa Croce, and it was some 30 years before any inscription was added to his burial place.


When Galileo's pupil Vincenzo Viviani died in 1703, he left money to build a tomb for both Galileo and himself. The tomb was paid for with additional money from the architect and mathematician Giovan Battista Nelli who was himself a pupil of Viviani. When the tomb was completed in 1737 the remains of both Galileo and Vincenzo were disinterred and placed under it.