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Paper: A Telescope Inventor's Spyglass Possibly Reproduced in a Brueghel's Painting
Volume: 441, The Inspiration of Astronomical Phenomena VI
Page: 13
Authors: Molaro, P.; Selvelli, P.
Abstract: Jan Brueghel the Elder depicted spyglasses belonging to the Archduke Albert VII of Habsburg in at least five paintings in the period between 1608 and 1625. Albert VII was fascinated by art and science and he obtained spyglasses directly from Lipperhey and Sacharias Janssen approximately at the time when the telescope was first shown at The Hague at the end of 1608. In the Extensive Landscape with View of the Castle of Mariemont, dated 1608-1612, the Archduke is looking at his Mariemont castle through an optical tube and this is the first time a spyglass was painted whatsoever. It is quite possible that the painting reproduces one of the first telescopes ever made. Two other Albert VII's telescopes are prominently reproduced in two Allegories of Sight painted a few years later (1617-1618). They are sophisticated instruments and their structure, in particular the shape of the eyepiece, suggests that they are composed by two convex lenses in a Keplerian optical configuration which became of common use only more than two decades later. If this is the case, these paintings are the first available record of a Keplerian telescope.
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