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THE ORIGINS OF A SCIENTIFIC INSTITUTION. FELICE FONTANA AND THE BIRTH OF THE REAL MUSEO DI FISICA E STORIA NATURALE DI FIRENZE1

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<title> ABSTRACT </title>The Royal Museum of Physics and Natural History was born by initiative of Pietro Leopoldo who, in 1775, entrusted native of Trent, Felice Fontana with its direction. Located on Via Romana in Florence, the Museum was intended to respond to the twofold demand for a visible display of knowledge and a centre for elaborating projects, aimed at public utility. The museum provided for natural science collections, scientific instruments and wax models of human anatomy. The early years were marked by Fontana's and his assistants' hard work aimed at organising the museum rooms. Fontana's project also planned on instituting a Science Academy. The project, however, clashed with the grand duke's opposition. This was the beginning of a change in the relations between the institution's management and the Tuscan court, which substantially led to Fontana's isolation, to the benefit of museum vice-director Giovanni Fabbroni.

10.1163/221058706X00630
/content/journals/10.1163/221058706x00630
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/content/journals/10.1163/221058706x00630
2016-12-02

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