Cynthea Masson speaks about the relationship between her academic study of alchemy and the writing of her 2016 novel, “The Alchemists’ Council.”
Long shrouded in secrecy, alchemy was once considered the highest of arts. Straddling art, science, and natural philosophy, alchemy has proven key to both the materiality and creative expression embedded in artistic output, from ancient sculpture and the decorative arts to medieval illumination, and masterpieces in paint, print, and a panoply of media from the European Renaissance to the present day.
She collected over four hundred alchemical, medicinal, and cosmetic recipes, and corresponded with other alchemical adepts about materials and laboratory techniques.
The most beautiful and well known illuminated alchemical manuscript in the world.
This short review discusses about itinerant sellers in Friuli, who are Cramaro called (XI-XIX centuries). Attention is focused, in particular, on the question if some of theme were alchemists.
Alchemical writing often develops the idea of a physical or analogical correspondence between heaven and earth: a relationship most fre- quently and conveniently expressed by the use of the seven planetary symbols (Sol, Luna, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn) to denote the seven metals (usually gold, silver, quicksilver, copper, iron, tin and lead respectively).
Therefore, rather than attempting to establish an exhaustive inventory of visual forms in medieval alchemy or a premature synthesis, the purpose of this article is to sketch major trends in visualization and to exemplify them by their earliest appearance so far known.
However the alchemical source of the early fourteenth century also explicitly maintained that knowledge of the secret of secrets involved an understanding of the hidden forces within the earth, and this in turn would bring earthly power. The most obvious manifestation of this interest in alchemical secrets lay in the belief that controlled experimentation with mercury and sulphur could effect transmutation of base metals into gold.
The fool is one of the most popular and stable character types throughout cultures and times. This is especially true of medieval Europe. The fool, sometimes a jester, sometimes a clown or a trickster, is always recognizable through his abnormal appearance.
The editing of medieval alchemical texts poses a number of challenges to the modern scholar.
his article will present what we know of the life and times of an important alchemist, Ibn Umayl.
Splendor Solis oder Sonnenglanz is the title of an illuminated manuscript that can rightfully be called one of the principal works of the alchemical tradition (fig. 1). The text survives in many witnesses dating from the early sixteenth to the nineteenth century, of which Harl. MS. 3469 is definitely the most famous and best preserved example.
The Czech Renaissance man of letters Vaclav Hajek of Libocany explained the representations of kingfishers and half naked bathmaidens that he saw painted on some Prague buildings, as records of saucy affairs from the life of the King Bohemia Wenceslas IV.
The thesis shows that the Medieval Sciences made a significant contribution to Chaucer’s mind and art, and that Chaucer shared the attitude of great scholars before and after him
The medieval world view was marked by a deep division between art and nature. Stemming partly from Aristotle, and partlyfrom other Greek, Latin, and Arabic sources, this view placed strict boundaries on the conceptual limits of technical innovation.
No one knew the risks and rewards of magic better than Agrippa. His notorious handbook, De occulta philosophia, circulated in manuscript by 1510, though it was printed only in 1533, over the complaints of Dominican inquisitors.
Psychological and psychiatric ailments must have baffled early medical practitioners.
The University of Cambridge is hosting an international conference – Alchemy and Medicine from Antiquity to the Enlightenment – which will include over…
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