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Restoration of the Forties

A Polish king, a French State Chancellor, an Irish poet, and the English doctor who first described the blood circulatory system. Who are these men; are Stefan Bathory, Michel de l’Hospital, Oliver Goldsmith, and William Harvey.

They are just four of our forty illustrious foreign students whose portraits adorn the Sala dei Quaranta of Palazzo Bo, symbolising the University’s commitment to its international vocation.

The Sala dei Quaranta (Hall of the Forty), leads to the historic “Aula Magna” of Palazzo Bo, which also houses the celebrated Cattedra di Galileo (Galileo’s podium). Commissioned by Rector Carlo Anti, Gian Giacomo Dal Forno painted each portrait in 1942 as part of the building’s renovation entrusted to the Milanese architect and designer Gio Ponti.

Damião De Goes, Portuguese diplomat and historian (1502-1574)
Antonio Albanell Agustìn, Spanish humanist historian and Roman Catholic archbishop (1517-1586)
Emile Perrot, French humanist and juris consultant (?-1556)
Michel de l’Hospital, French state chancellor (1504?-1573)
Caspar Bauhin, Swiss anatomist and botanist (1560-1624)
Jean Prévost, Swiss botanist and physician (1585-1631)
Adriaan van den Spiegel, Flemish anatomist and surgeon (1578-1625)
Jan van Heurne, Dutch physician (1543-1601)
Thomas Linacre, English physician and humanist (1460-1524)
Francis Walsingham, English statesman (1532-1590)
William Harvey, English physician (1578-1657)
Oliver Goldsmith, Irish poet and playwright (1728-1774)
Johan Ruthven, Scottish politician (16th century)
Olof Rudbeck, Swedish botanist and physician (1630-1702)
Ole Worm, Danish philosopher and physician (1588-1654)
Peder Hansen Resen, Danish state advisor and historian (1625-1688)
Thomas Bartholin, Danish physician (1616-1680)
Nicholas of Cusa, German philosopher and theologian (1401-1464)
Johann Georg Wirsüng, German physician (1600-1643)
Werner Rolfinck, German physician, botanist and chemist (1599-1673)
Protasius de Czernahora, Czech humanist (15th century)

Jan Kritel Bohac, Czech surgeon (1724-1768)
Witelo, Polish philosopher and scientist (13th century)
Klemens Janicius, Polish poet (1516-1543)
Jan Kochanowski, Polish poet (1530-1584)
Franciscus Skorjna de Poloczo, Belarusian physician and publisher (1490 ca.-1535 ca.)
Petr Vasiljevic Postnikov, Russian physician and philosopher (18th century)
Ianus Pannonius, Hungarian humanist (1434-1472)
Stefano Bathory, Prince of Transylvania, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania (1533-1586)
János Sámboky, Hungarian physician and scholar (1531-1584)
Costantino Cantacuzino, Romanian philosopher and scholar (1650-1716)
Marko Gerbec, Slovenian physician (1658-1718)
Demeter Dimitrije, Croatian scholar and physician (1811-1872)
Georgius Benignus, Bosnian philosopher and theologian (?-1540)
Giovanni Argiropulo, Greek scholar (1410-1492 ca.)
Alexander Mavrokordatos, Greek physician and Chief Dragoman (1636-1709)
Ioannis Kapodistrias, Greek physician and statesman (1776-1831)
Marinus Becichemus Scodrensis, Albanian humanist (1468-1526)
Nicholas Leonicus Thomaeus, Albanian humanist (1456-1531)
Emanuele Sciascian, Armenian physician (1775-1858)

As one of the University’s large-scale projects, the restoration of the 40 canvases and banners began at the end of October 2020. The delicate restoration work aimed to conserve the structural components of each piece due to their fragility and was made possible thanks to the generous support of individuals, companies, professional associations, club service, professors, embassies, and consulates.

The Sala dei Quaranta of the University of Padua has long held 7 labari (a type of banner flag) on display, each one symbolically representing the Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Philosophy and Literature, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Physics and Mathematics, the School of Engineering, the School of Pharmacy, as well as the Faculty of Education. The first six labari were donated in 1922 in celebration of the University’s 700th anniversary by the committee of “signore e signorine” from the neighbouring cities of Trieste, Trento, Fiume Vicenza, Udine, and Verona. From Trieste is the reddish-orange silk labaro of the Faculty of Medicine that includes the image of Hygieia, the Greek goddess of health, painted in its centre. From Trentino, the ivory silk labaro of the Faculty of Philosophy and Literature includes the image of an eagle’s wing painted and embroidered in its centre. From Fiume Vicenza, the dark purple silk labaro of the Faculty of Law includes an embroidered silk image of Lady Justice stitched to the centre. From Vicenza, the olive green silk labaro of the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics includes an embroidered owl in the centre. From Udine, the black silk labaro, of the School of Engineering, includes an embroidered image symbolizing measuring instruments of “ingenium” in the centre. From Verona, the pink silk labaro of the School of Pharmacy includes an embroidered “Bowl of Hygieia” in the centre; the bowl with a snake coiled around it is internationally recognized as the symbol of pharmacy. The seventh pink silk labaro of the Faculty of Education was probably gifted later, considering that the Faculty started in 1951.

The restoration project is the result of a fundraising campaign activated and completed by the University with the help of numerous donors who support the preservation of cultural and historical heritage that defines the University of Padua.

List of supporters of the fundraising campaign.