Lutetia was discovered in 1852 from the Paris balcony of French painter turned astronomer Hermann Goldschmidt. To honour his home city, he called it 'Lutetia', after the Roman name for Paris. It was an early vindication of Goldschmidt's career change.
He became interested in astronomy after attending a talk by the great French astronomer Urbain Le Verrier, of the Paris Observatory. The previous year, Le Verrier had correctly predicted the position of the then unknown planet Neptune, sparking its discovery. The mathematical success made him famous. His Paris lectures were timed to coincide with an easily visible lunar eclipse in 1847. He clearly inspired Goldschmidt.
Captivated by the possibilities for discovery, the painter bought a telescope, appropriately enough with the proceeds from the sale of two portraits of Galileo. He set it up on his sixth floor apartment's balcony and began to sweep the skies.
Lutetia was his first discovery, made on the evening of 15 November 1852, but not his last. During the next nine years, he discovered 13 more asteroids making him the most successful asteroid hunter of his generation.
He was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1861, and has a crater on the Moon named after him. - Stuart