Francesco Algarotti Bibliography

Il Newtonianismo per le dame 1737
Written in 1773, Algarotti’s popularization of Newtonian optics was translated into English in 1739 and was highly praised by Voltaire.

Born in Venice on 11 December 1712, Algarotti was educated in Rome, Bologna and Florence. Aged 20 he went to Paris and soon made himself known in intellectual circles. After a visit to England in 1739, Algarotti went to Russia and then returned to England via Saxony. In 1740 he accepted an invitation from Frederick the Great and stayed in Germany for more than nine years. Ill health forced him to return to Italy, where in Pisa he died of consumption on 3 May 1764. Frederick commissioned a monument to be set up on his tomb with the famous epitaph “Algarottus non omnis” (“[Here lies] Algarotti [but] not all”).

Algarotti’s numerous writings include studies on classical themes, architecture, opera and painting.

Lord Chesterfield, Lord Hervey, Thomas Grey, Metastasio, Voltaire, Maupertuis and Heinrich von Brühl were among his correspondents.