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"Galileis denkende Hand" (Galileo's Thinking Hand). Now Available from Gruyter – Horst Bredekamp's Revised Edition of "Galilei der Künstler"

December 16, 2014

One year ago, on 16 December 2013, The New Yorker published an article that exposed the book forgeries of Massimo De Caro while illuminating their cultural and psychological backdrop. A key focus of the article was placed on a copy Galileo's "Starry Messenger" (Siderus Nuncius), ostensibly from 1610, which was mistakenly identified by the German art historian Horst Bredekamp and his expert team of researchers as a galley proof.

The article sparked a conflagration of debate that raged for weeks and even went so far as to cast doubt on the methods used by contemporary historians. Following the article's publication, De Caro admitted that he had relied on Bredekamp's research to perform his forgeries. In this way, Bredekamp encountered the results of his own research when examining the forged drawings.

Exactly one year after The New Yorker article was published, a new edition of Horst Bredekamp's 2007 book "Galilei der Künstler" (Galileo the Artist) is now available from De Gruyter, titled "Galileis denkende Hand: Form und Funktion" (Galileo's Thinking Hand: Form and Function). The erroneous chapter has been removed from the new edition, and the core arguments have been strengthened through comprehensive revision. The book remains a valuable contribution, offering fundamental insights into the interrelationships between art and science in the early modern period.