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The mathematician and experimental philosopher Galileo Galilei was held under house-arrest for the last 10 years of his life, owing to his independent and uncooperative attitude to Church orthodoxy on the question of heliocentrism, i.e. whether the sun was the centre around which the earth revolved or vice versa. The English poet John Milton visited him at this time, in Galileo's house at Arcetri near Florence: in Milton's words, 'There it was that I found and visited the famous Galileo grown old a prisoner to the Inquisition, for thinking in Astronomy otherwise than the Franciscan and Dominican licensers thought'.
oil on canvas
118 x 146 cm
purchased by Henry S. Wellcome, c.1900–1936
183 Euston Road, London, Greater London NW1 2BE EnglandView venue
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