Tag: Alchemy

Features

Medieval Manuscripts: Splendor Solis

If you ever wondered how to transform metals into gold, this is the manuscript for you. Splendor Solis takes us into the world of 16th-century alchemy, and does so with a series of magnificent full-page miniatures abounding with mysterious symbols.

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News

The Getty Enchants with Alchemy Exhibits

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.

Articles

Depicting the Medieval Alchemical Cosmos: George Ripley’s Wheel of Inferior Astronomy

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).

Books

The Rise of Alchemy in Fourteenth-Century England

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.