Biography

Galileo aged seventy, painted by Justus Sustermans (1597–1681)

The Antwerp-born artist worked in the Medici court and completed Galileo’s portrait in 1635. It hangs in the Uffizi in Florence.

Chronology

YearEvent
1564Birth of Galileo in Pisa on 15 February; his father, Vincenzo Galilei, is a musician and music theorist.
1580–1585Student of philosophy and medicine at Pisa university. He pursues mathematics, particularly Archimedes, and leaves the university without a degree.
1586"La Bilancetta" (The [hydrostatic] scales)
1588 "Due lezioni all'Accademia fiorentina circa la figura, sito e grandezza dell'Inferno di Dante"
(Two lectures to the Florentine Academy on the shape, location and size of Dante's Inferno)
1589–1592Lecturer in mathematics in Pisa. He writes his first work: "De motu" (On motion).
YearEvent
1592–1610Professor of mathematics in Padua. He writes among others "Trattato di mechanice" (Treatise on mechanics), published in Paris in 1634.
1606"Le operazioni del compasso geometrico e militare" (Operations of the geometric and military compass. A version of the proportional dividers)
1610"Sidereus nuncius" (The sidereal messenger)
1612"Discorso intorno alle cose che stanno in su l'acqua" (Discourse on bodies on or in water)
1613"Lettere solari" (Solar letters, observations and theories on sunspots)
1615"Lettera a Madama Cristina di Lorena" (Letter to Madame Christina of Lorraine, Grand Duchess of Tuscany (1565–1636), consort of Ferdinando I de' Medici)
YearEvent
1615–1616 Galileo goes to Rome. "Discorso sul flusso e reflusso" (Discourse on the tides).
The ecclesiastical authorities condemn Copernicus’s teaching. Galileo is admonished by Cardinal Roberto Bellarmino (1542–1621).
1619"Discorso sulle comete" (Discourse on comets), jointly written with the astronomer and jurist Mario Guiducci (1585–1646)
1623"Il Saggiatore". Galileo's patron Maffeo Barberini (1568–1644) becomes Pope Urban VIII.
1624Galileo travels to Rome again to show his gratitude to the new pope
1624–1630 "Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo tolemaico e copernico"
(Dialogue concerning the two chief world systems, the Ptolemaic and the Copernican)
1630In Rome again from April to June to receive the "imprimatur" for the "Dialogue".
1632February sees the printing of the "Dialogue"; its dissemination was banned the following August. In September Galileo is ordered to face the Holy Office.
YearEvent
1633In January Galileo is back in Rome. He is tried and condemned. On 22 June Galileo is compelled to renounce his findings.
1638"Discorsi e dimostrazioni intorno a due nuove scienze" (Discourses and mathematical demonstrations relating to two new sciences)
1642Galileo dies at his country house in Arcetri near Florence.

Galileo Galilei in Florence