Museo Galileo
Virtual Museum
Tito Livio Burattini

An architect and inventor from Belluno, Burattini worked mainly in Poland. He spent a few years in Egypt, where he measured and studied the obelisks of Heliopolis and Alexandria. After a brief stay in Germany, he settled in Krakow, where he served as the King's architect. There, he met Stanislaw Pudlowsky, a student of Galileo (1564-1642), and Girolamo Pinocci, a patrician of Italian origin, with whom he performed optical experiments and contributed to the discovery of irregularities on the surface of Venus, comparable to those on the Moon. He also became a highly regarded maker of microscope and telescope lenses, sending some as gifts to Cardinal Leopold de' Medici (1617-1675). In 1645, he published Bilancia Sincera [Honest Balance], which proposed an improvement to the hydrostatic balance described by Galileo in his Bilancetta. In 1648, Burattini devised a flying machine, which, however, he did not build. In Misura universale [Universal measure] (1675), he proposed as a linear unit the length of the pendulum that has a period of a second.