Portrait of Galileo Galilei set within an elaborate cartouche

Francesco Villamena Italian
Sitter Galileo Galilei Italian

Not on view

The talented engraver Francesco Villamena moved in a circle of collectors, scholars, and antiquarians that included Vincenzo Giustiniani and Cassiano dal Pozzo, both of whom were godparents to his children. Although Villamena often engraved the drawings of others, he was an accomplished draftsman who designed, among other things, striking images of itinerant tradesmen. Villamena's animated portrait of the famed and controversial astronomer, which may reproduce a model by another artist, was commissioned to illustrate Galileo's 'Istoria e dimostrazioni intorno alle macchie solari' (1613). It was only when Villamena was commissioned to engrave a title page for Galileo's Saggiatore (1623), and the portrait was used a second time, that he added his signature to the plate.

Portrait of Galileo Galilei set within an elaborate cartouche, Francesco Villamena (Italian, Assisi ca. 1565–1624 Rome), Engraving

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