• Jan 1, 1500
    (b.) -
    Jan 1, 1585
    (d.)

Bio/Description

An Italo-Spanish inventor, clockmaker, engineer and mathematician, he was born in Cremona, in northern Italy around 1500. His skill in his clockwork was well known even in his teen years. Called to Spain in 1529 by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. The emperor sent word to major cities that he needed a skilled clock maker who could repair the Astrarium built in the fourteenth century by Giovanni de' Dondi in Padua. He was hired for the job, and upon inspection he came to the conclusion that the clock was rusted and worn beyond repair. He was appointed Court Clock Master and built the Cristalino, an astronomical clock that made him famous in his time. Philip II of Spain named him Matemático Mayor. It took him 20 years to design the clock, and then 3 and half more years to make it all by hand. An annalist of Philip II said, "The clock had all of 1800 wheels…and many other things of iron and brass that are involved." He is most well-known for a mandolin-playing lady automaton that he built for Emperor Charles V, which was extremely lifelike in its motions for the times. The female player could walk in lines and tilt her head, and the automaton still exists today in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.
  • Date of Birth:

    Jan 1, 1500
  • Date of Death:

    Jan 1, 1585
  • Gender:

    Male
  • Noted For:

    Inventor of the Cristalino, an astronomical clock, and an automaton; a mandolin-playing lady that was extremely lifelike in its motions for that time
  • Category of Achievement:

  • More Info:

Still Alive: