Buono, Paolo Del

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Buono, Paolo Del

(b. Florene, Italy, 26 October 1625; d. Poland, 1659)

Mechanics, Physics.

Del Buono was the son of Leonido and Bartolomea Andreini. He studied in Pisa under Famiano Michelini. A member of the Poor Regular Clerics of the Mother of God of the Pious Schools (Scolopi), Del Buono was learned but eccentric. He deserves much credit, however, for arousing a keen interest in the scienes in his pupil Leopoldo de’ Medici, who in 1657–1667 was a patron of the Cimento Academy. Del Buono received his degree in Pisa in 1649. Six years later he went to Germany in the service of Emperor Ferdinand III, who appointed him presidient of the mint and offered him honors and rich prizes if he could devise a mechanism to draw water from mines. In order to make practical studies, in 1657 and 1658 he visited the imperial mines in the Carpathians, accompanied by Geminiano Montanari, a doctor of jurisprudence whom he had instructed in the sciences. The death of the emperor and the disturbances that broke out in Germany made it necessary for him to go to Poland, where he died about a year later.

Del Buono is included among the correspondents of the Cimento Academy, along with his older brother, Father Candido, and his younger brother, Anton Maria.

Several of Del Buono’s letters to Prince Leopold are extant. In them he refers to the observations, made in several observatories, of a comet that was then visible. His contributions include an instrument to demonstrate the incompressibility of water and a communication from Vienna that states that water enclosed in glass vials with very thin necks generates air in amounts dependent on the temperature of the environment. The Cimento Academy confirmed this phenomenon, concerning which Giovanni Borelli and Viviani gave conflicting explanations.


Lettere inedite di uomini illustri, Angelo Fabronio, ed., 1 (Florence, 1773), 94, 151, 200.

Angelo Fabronio, Vitae italorum doctrina excellentium qui saeculis XVII et XVIII fioruerunt, 12 vols. (Pisa, 1778–1785).

Notizie degli aggrandimenti delle scienze fisiche accaduti in Toscana nel corso degli anni LX del sec. XVII0, raccolte dal dottor Giovanni Targioni Tazzetti, G. Bouchard, ed., I (Florence, 1780), 182, 519; II, pt. 1 (Florence, 1780), 309.

Rafaele Caverni, Storia del metodo sperimentale in Italia 6 vols. (Florence, 1891–1892), II, 263.

Galileo Galilei: Le opere, Antonio Favaro et al., eds., national ed., 20 vols. (Florence, 1890–1909; reprinted 1929–1939). There is a short biography of Del Buono in XX, pt. 6; see also XXV, pt. 3, 352, letter from Ward to Galileo of 7 September 1641.

A. Natucci