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Astronomical Images : Construction of a latitude plate for an astrolabe

Daniello Barbaro

Astronomical Images

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Daniello Barbaro (1514-1570) belonged to a Venetian patrician family, and was educated at the University of Padua. He is well-known for his collaboration with Andrea Palladio (1508-80) on the Italian translation and commentary on Vitruvius' work on architecture. Barbaro wrote on philosophical and religious topics, and had a keen interest in practical mathematics. He left his library and some astronomical instruments he had made to his brother. In the <i>La pratica della perspettiva</i> (1569), Barbaro discusses, among other things, the <i>camera obscura</i>. In this figure showing the construction of a latitude plate for use in an astrolabe, the horizon and azimuth lines are drawn, together with lines for the equator, tropics and ecliptic, which on the instrument itself would appear on the rete. This demonstration comes from Barbaro's manual on perspective, which illustrates the wide variety of practical applications of geometry, from painting to instrument-making.</p>

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