Reference Work Entry

Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

pp 539-541


de la Hire, Philippe

Alternate Name

Hire, Philippe de la

BornParis, France, 1640

DiedParis, France, 21 April 1718

Philippe de la Hire was a mathematician, an observational astronomer, and a key figure in the Académie royale des sciences. La Hire was the eldest child of Laurent de la Hire, peintre ordinaire du roiand professor at the Académie royale de peinture, and Marguerite Coquin. Laurent was a well-known artist whose patrons included Cardinal Richelieu. Laurent and his wife were well off financially – they owned several properties in Paris – and their residence was frequented by leading figures from the worlds of the visual arts and the mathematical sciences. The geometer Gérard Desargues was one of Laurent’s closest friends. Laurent intended Philippe also to be a painter, and to that end educated him personally. Philippe’s study of geometry was assisted by Desargues, who probably introduced him to projective geometry. Laurent, who admired the Venetian masters, urged Philippe to go to Venice, which he did ...

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