Count Francesco Algarotti (11 December 1712 – 3 May 1764) was an Italian polymath, philosopher, poet, essayist, anglophile, art critic and art collector. He was a man of broad knowledge, an expert in Newtonianism, architecture and opera. He was a friend of Frederick the Great and leading authors of his times: Voltaire, Jean-Baptiste de Boyer, Marquis d'Argens, Pierre-Louis de Maupertuis and the atheist Julien Offray de La Mettrie. Lord Chesterfield, Thomas Gray, George Lyttelton, Thomas Hollis, Metastasio, Benedict XIV and Heinrich von Brühl were among his correspondents.
Algarotti was born in Venice as the son of a rich merchant. His father and uncle were art collectors. Unlike his older brother, Bonomo he did not step into the company, but decided to become an author. Francesco obtained a classical education; also studied natural sciences and mathematics in Rome. While the experimental physics and medicine at University of Bologna under Francesco Maria Zanotti an