Museo Galileo
Virtual Museum
Vincenzo Galilei junior

Few documents remain about the brief life of this natural son of Galileo (1564-1642) and Marina Gamba, a Venetian woman. Vincenzo was born in Padua, like the couple's two daughters: Virginia (1600-1634) (later Sister Maria Celeste) and Livia (1601-1659) (later Sister Arcangela). Vincenzo was legitimated by his father in 1618. He was particularly gifted in poetry, music, and mechanics. His father encouraged him to study law in Pisa, entrusting him to Benedetto Castelli (1577/8-1643). In 1629, he married Sestilia Bocchinieri (1629-1669). After his marriage, he quarrelled with his father over financial matters; their relationship later improved and Vincenzo lovingly assisted his father in the last, difficult years of his life. Vincenzo Viviani (1622-1703) mentions Vincenzo's skill as inventor of musical instruments and in particular his construction of a "lute made with such art that, playing it so excellently, he extracted continuous and goliardic voices from the cords as if they were issuing from an organ's pipes...".