Giuseppe Campani "Night and Day Projection Clock"

Giuseppe Campani "Night-day projection clock"

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Author/ School/ Dating:

Giuseppe Campani (Castel San Felice, 1635 - Roma, 1715)

Technique and Dimensions:

Carved ebonized pear, cast bronze, painted copper


Ground floor lounge (inv. no. G.P.B. 2533)

Object Type:



The large night clock signed by Giuseppe Campani, whose internal mechanism (still present) was partially modified during the eighteenth century by Ganzinotto, a watchmaker active in Genoa in the first half of the eighteenth century, is a work of exceptional interest, both from the technical and artistic point of view. In fact, it is one of the very rare signed examples of a projection clock, a type created by Giuseppe Campani for which he obtained a special licence from the Pope in 1668. Thanks to a very powerful lens, the image of the dial was projected on to a wall or ceiling while a special crank escapement rendered the clock silent, seeming a foretaste of the eighteenth-century magic lantern. The monumental shape of the piece is reminiscent of a Baroque altar, while the painted face, depicting an Allegory of the Triumph of Wisdom, is from a student of Carlo Maratta.