33.6 MB (3.4 MB compressed)
3192 x 3678 pixels
26.9 x 31.2 cm ⏐ 10.6 x 12.3 in (300dpi)
SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Galileo's daughter. Portrait of Virginia Galileo (1600-1634), the daughter of the famous astronomer Galileo Galilei. She was illegitimate, and therefore unmarriable, and so became a nun, under the name of Suor Maria Celeste, at the age of 13. For the rest of her life she regularly corresponded with her father, celebrating his achievements and expressing grief at his fate under the inquisition. In all, 124 of her letters survive. Galileo's letters to his daughter were destroyed on the orders of the abbesses of the convent which housed Virginia. The book Galileo's Daughter (D. Sobel, 1999) profiles Galileo through his daughter's letters.
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