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Milton Visiting Galileo when a Prisoner of the Inquisition

Photo credit: Wellcome Collection

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Notes

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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'.

Wellcome Collection

London

  • Date

    1847

  • Medium

    oil on canvas

  • Measurements

    118 x 146 cm

  • Accession number

    45632i

  • Acquisition method

    purchased by Henry S. Wellcome, c.1900–1936

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Wellcome Collection

183 Euston Road, London, Greater London NW1 2BE England

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