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FRANCESCO REDI (1626-1697)

Francesco Redi , a distinguished scientist and writer with broad cultural interests, studied Medicine and Philosophy. In Florence, he was nominated Court Physician to the Grand Duke Ferdinando II and to Cosimo III and he carried out practical and scientific experiments in the ‘Accademia del Cimento’. An astute observer, Redi also applied experimental methods to Medecine. He wrote about optics and he ventured into complicated problems of Biology, disproving the ancient theory about the spontaneous procreation of insects. He carried out thorough research into parasites and sake poison. As a literary figure, he was ‘Arciconsole’ of the ‘Accademia della Crusca’, an associate of the ‘Accademia dell’Arcadia’ and a forerunner of modern literary studies and of the study of dialects. He also helped to compile the 3rd edition of the ‘Vocabolario della Crusca’ (1691). But his most lively genius can be seen in the famous ‘Bacco in Toscana’, a brilliant and ironical collection of 980 verses in praise of wine. He was closely linked to the Jesuits and to the library of their school in Arezzo, to which he donated many books. His sepulchral monument , which was made by the great Florentine sculptor, Giovanbattista Foggini in collaboration with Ferdinando Vacca from Carrara, is now in Arezzo Cathedral.


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