L’erma di Galileo di Vincenzo Vela

Noctua 6 (1–2):444-450 (2019)
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Abstract

This article presents an analysis of the bust of Galileo that Vincenzo Vela created for his house and studio at Ligornetto. The work carries symbolic significance in that it was conceived by the Ticinese artist for the pilaster on the right hand side of the principal entrance to the villa, as a counterpart to the bust of Christopher Columbus on the left. It thus served to perpetuate a long-standing literary topos which started at the beginning of the 17th century and which was made use of during the Risorgimento to celebrate Italian ascendency within a European context. Through this work Vela reveals his adherence to patriotic ideals that he had previously expressed through his active participation in the first Italian War of Independence, fighting in the anti-Austrian ranks.

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