Hall of Forty
From ufficio dlm
The Hall of Forty derives its name from the forty portraits of illustrious international scholars, who
all made groundbreaking contributions in their respective fields through their studies at Padua, and
their countries of origin. The scholars are all students: scientists, jurists, humanists, physicians and
anatomists who all lived sometime between the fourteenth and nineteenth centuries. Amongst the
portraits are William Harvey, who was the first to accurately describe the circulation of blood;
Michel de l’Hôpital, the French statesman known for his policy of tolerance; and Stephen Bathory,
who went on to become king of Poland.
Between 1938 and 1942, Gian Giacomo dal Forno created the portraits, following the precise
iconographic instructions provided by Rector Carlo Anti. The room, entirely furnished by Gio
Ponti, also displays the podium that was supposedly built for Galileo Galilei by his students for use
in his lectures in the room known today as the Great Hall.