Escutcheons of Science

Gregorio Ricci-Curbastro  (1853-1925)
Inventor of tensor calculus (1884).

Azure, a fess Gules, accompanied, in chief, of a comet between two estoiles Or and, in base,
of an oak tree between two hedgehogs combattant Proper on a terrasse Vert.

Azzurro con una fascia rossa accompagnata in capo da una cometa posta tra due stelle d'oro,
in punta una quercia al naturale terrazzata di verde accostata da due ricci al naturale e affrontati.

 Ricci-Curbastro Franciacorta Demi Sec  Ricci-Curbastro coat-of-arms Those are canting arms:  Ricci means hedgehog in Italian  and  Curbastro is said to come from the latin name for the oak tree  (quercus).

The inventor of tensor calculus (1884) is from a family of wine producers based in Capriolo.  The Ricci-Curbastro House  (old Franchini House)  is located  Via San Vitale, 31 (Bologna).  The traditional Ricci-Curbastro shield is the basis for the stylized commercial logo now used on the label of most Ricci-Curbastro wine bottles.  Fortunately, they have retained the unmodified shield for their Franciacorta Demi Sec  (label at right)  reproduced on the frontispiece of this page...

However, the colors used in the wine label depart significantly from the heraldic colors which can be found elsewehere  (example at left).  Strictly speaking, the composition of the shield violates the traditional heraldic  rule of tinctures  which ordinarily forbids the juxtaposition of two colors like gules and azure.

 Gregorio Ricci-Curbastro 

In 1884, Gregorio Ricci-Curbastro started the investigations of  quadratic differential forms  which led him to invent  tensor calculus  (1884-1894).  The text he published about that with  Tullio Levi-Civita in 1900 was entitled  Méthodes de calcul différentiel absolu et leurs applicationsRicci-Curbastro  signed this particular work with the abbreviated moniker  Ricci  for the first and only time  (this is how he remains known to most scientists today).  That momentous treatise is what would enable Albert Einstein to formulate General Relativity in 1915.      Gregorio Ricci-Curbastro  Signature of 
 Gregorio Ricci-Curbastro
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