http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0908/0908.2696v1.pdf Abstract. Several early spyglasses are depicted in five paintings by Jan Brueghel the Elder completed between 1608 and 1625, as he was court painter of Archduke Albert VII of Habsburg. An optical tube that appears in the Extensive Landscape with View of the Castle of Mariemont, dated 1608-1612, represents the first painting of a telescope whatsoever. We collected some documents showing that Albert VII obtained spyglasses very early directly from Lipperhey or Sacharias Janssen. Thus the painting likely reproduces one of the first man-made telescopes ever. Two other instruments appear in two Allegories of Sight made in the years 1617 and 1618. These are sophisticated instruments and the structure suggests that they may be keplerian, but this is about two decades ahead this mounting was in use. From Wiki. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telescope The earliest evidence of working telescopes were the refracting telescopes that appeared in the Netherlands in 1608. Their development is credited to three individuals: Hans Lippershey and Zacharias Janssen, who were spectacle makers in Middelburg, and Jacob Metius of Alkmaar. Galileo greatly improved upon these designs the following year. The idea that a mirror could be used as an objective instead of a lens was being investigated soon after the invention of the refracting telescope. The potential advantages of using parabolic mirrors, primarily reduction of spherical aberration with no chromatic aberration, led to many proposed designs and several attempts to build reflecting telescopes. In 1668, Isaac Newton built the first practical reflecting telescope that bears his name, the Newtonian reflector.