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Galileo's followers
Italian Telescopes

Portrait of Eustachio Divini
(1610 -1685)

The first prize in telescope making remained, however, in Italy. First it passed from Florence to Naples with Francesco Fontana (c. 1590-1656), and then from Naples to Rome. There the expert in optics Eustachio Divini (1610-1685) gained international fame until Giuseppe Campani (1635-1715) tried to wrestle it from him.
The rivalry between Divini and Campani turned into a contest involving the Florentine Accademia del Cimento (1657-1667). To decide which of the contenders should be named the greatest optical expert, Prince Leopoldo de' Medici (1617-1675) asked his academicians to direct the controversy with specially designed experiments. The members set out to evaluate the quality of Divini's and Campani's telescopes by reading texts at a distance.
Despite the undeniable merits of Divini's telescopes (the academicians made out Saturn's shadow cast on its ring with one of these instruments in 1660), it was Campani's telescopes that won the day. Gian Domenico Cassini (1625-1712), from Bologna, used Campani's telescopes with great success to make a series of new celestial discoveries when he was called to Paris to direct the Observatory there.

Related objects
Inv. 2553
V.29 Octagonal telescope
Eustachio Divini, Rome
Wood, cardboard, Florentine paper
Length 2980 mm
Inv. 2557
V.54 Octagonal telescope
Eustachio Divini, Rome
Wood, cardboard, Florentine paper
Length 5650 mm
Inv. 2551
V.24 Terrestrial telescope
c. 1664
Giuseppe Campani, Rome
Cardboard, leather
Length 2250 mm
Inv. 2552
V.27 Terrestrial telescope
Eustachio Divini
Cardboard, paper
Length circa mm 3800
Inv. 3185
V.51 Terrestrial telescope
Giuseppe Campani
Wood, cardboard, leather
Length circa 12000 mm
Inv. 2556
V.52 Terrestrial telescope
Giuseppe Campani, Rome
Wood, leather
Length 3430 mm
Inv. 2560
V.53 Terrestrial telescope
End of the seventeenth century
Unsigned, Italian construction
Cardboard, leather
Length circa 4400 mm
Inv. 2555
V.56 Terrestrial telescope
c. 1665
[Attr.] Eustachio Divini or Jacopo Mariani
Wood, cardboard, leather
Length circa 8800 mm
Inv. 2587
V.6 Objective lens
Giuseppe Campani, Rome
Diameter 137 mm

Inv. 2573
V.8 Eyepiece lens
Eustachio Divini, Rome
Glass, cardboard, Florentine paper
Length 46 mm, diameter 55 mm

Inv. 2574
V.9 Eyepiece lens
Eustachio Divini, Rome
Glass, cardboard, Florentine paper
Length 107 mm, diameter 63 mm
Inv. 3449.2
V.7 Tube for composite eyepiece
Cardboard, Florentine paper
Length 280 mm, diameter 72 mm

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