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Algarotti, Francesco, Count

ALGAROTTI, FRANCESCO, COUNT (1712-1764), Italian philosopher and writer on art, was born on the 11th of December 1712 at Venice, and died at Pisa in 1764. He studied at Rome and Bologna, and at the age of twenty went to Paris, where he enjoyed the friendship of Voltaire and produced his great work Neutonianismo per le dame, a work on optics. Voltaire called him his cher cygne de Padoue. Returning from a journey to Russia, he met Frederick the Great who made him a count of Prussia (1740) and court chamberlain (1747). Augustus III. of Poland honoured him with the title of councillor. In 1754, after seven years' residence partly in Berlin and partly in Dresden, he returned to Italy, living at Venice and then at Pisa, where he died on the 3rd of May 1764. Frederick the Great erected to his memory a monument on the Campo Santo at Pisa. He was a man of wide knowledge, a connoisseur in art and music, and the friend of most of the leading authors of his time. His chief work on art is the Saggi sopra le belle arti ("Essays on the Fine Arts"). Among his other works may be mentioned Poems, Travels in Russia, Essay on Painting, Correspondence.

The best complete edition with biography was published by D. Michelessi (1791-1794).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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