Museo Galileo
Virtual Museum
Law of free-falling bodies
Video   Text


[Lunette of the Tribuna di Galileo showing an experiment made by the Pisan scientist with the inclined plane (Text by Vincenzo Antinori from Guida per la Tribuna di Galileo, Florence, 1843)].

"At the front is an inclined plane on which the objects can slide. An attempt is being made to measure their velocity, noting the time they take to reach the bottom. Behind it, in the middle, is Galileo, professor at the University of Pisa, wearing his gown over a red tunic. He is showing a table with the results of the experiments to his friend and colleague, the famous philosopher Iacopo Mazzoni of Cesena. Before the inclined plane, a Professor in monastic dress, resting on one knee, tries to measure the times of the fall with the beat of his pulse. On Galileo's right stands a group of scholastic Professors who are mocking the experiments and vainly searching the writings of Aristotle for explanations of the new facts. On his left, at some distance, sits Don Giovanni de' Medici, natural son of Cosimo I, with a grim expression on his face. A dabbler in mechanical matters, Don Giovanni became our Philosopher's adversary after Galileo, as requested, had demonstrated the inadequacy of a device that the Prince had conceived for draining the Leghorn dock. The Provost of the University is talking to Giovanni de' Medici, with courtiers close by; surrounding Galileo are some young disciples, eagerly assisting him in the investigations. The Cathedral and Tower of Pisa in the distance indicate the location, and remind the viewer of the two famous buildings where the eminent Tuscan made his first discoveries in dynamics."

Inclined plane

Inclined plane

Inv. 1041
Maker unknown, Florence, early 19th cent.