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Bust of Juanelo Turriano
Cremona, Duchy of Milan
|Resting place||Toledo, Spain|
Called to Spain in 1529 by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, 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. He worked and lived in Toledo, where he built the Artificio de Juanelo, an engine that, driven by the river itself, lifted water from the Tagus to a height of almost 100 meters, to supply the city and its castle (Alcázar).
Turriano is attributed as the creator of the "Clockwork Prayer", an automaton representing a monk manufactured in the 1560s based on a commission from Philip II of Spain. Following the recovery of his son, and in the belief that Didacus of Alcalá had in some way intervened on his behalf, King Philip II of Spain commissioned Juanelo Turriano, mechanic to Emperor Charles V, to build a clockwork model of Didacus. The model would perform a number of set actions, including the beating of the breast which accompanies the Mea culpa prayer. It is still in working order and can be seen in the Smithsonian Institution.
He died at Toledo in 1585.
- Zanetti, Cristiano. Janello Torriani and the Spanish Empire: A Vitruvian Artisan at the Dawn of the Scientific Revolution. Brill, 2017.
- King, Elizabeth. "Clockwork Prayer: A Sixteenth-Century Mechanical Monk". Retrieved 2011-06-18.
- "A Clockwork Miracle". Retrieved 2011-06-18.
- King, Elizabeth (Spring 2002). "Clockwork Prayer: A Sixteenth-Century Mechanical Monk". Blackbird. 1 (1).
- Breaking the disciplines : reconceptions in knowledge, art and culture. London [u.a.]: Tauris. 2003. ISBN 9781860649172.
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- This article is mostly translated from the longer Spanish language article.