The Art Of Alchemy

In its widest interpretation, alchemy was a grandiose philosophical system aimed at penetrating and harmonizing the mysteries of creation and of life.

John Read in Alchemy and Alchemists, 1951

Philosophical or Hermetic Alchemy  

Alchemical Concepts: A lengthy article of the philosophical and psychological foundation of alchemy.

The Secrets of Hermetic Alchemy: an easy visual guide to the spiritual practice in alchemy. The blueprint to understand the alchemical symbols. (PDF file)

Spiritus Mundi and Anima Mundi: Interpretation of Spiritus Mundi and Anima Mundi in alchemy as the life-force energy; and as represented in alchemical emblems.

The 40 Days of Blackness: is associated with the period of Nigredo, Putrefaction, the alchemist’s time of introspection.

The Alchemical Labyrinth: the labyrinth as a symbol for the often confusing alchemical texts.

The Light of the Inner Sun: is the awareness and appearance of the inner light along the process of meditation or the Great Work in alchemy.

History

A Short History of Alchemy: A history of alchemy from ancient Greece, through Arab manuscript into the Middle Ages, hermetic philosophies and modern day experiments.

Nicholas Flamel: An exploration into the intriguing legend of alchemist Nicholas Flamel, his manuscripts and testament.

Laboratory Art

The Use of Dew in Alchemy: Throughout the ages, some alchemists gathered morning dew to make medicinal preparations, based on the belief that dew contains universal life energies.

Gold of a Thousand Mornings: The production of Vegetable Gold Liquor or Elixir by the French alchemist Armand Barbault, and its medicinal properties.

Metals

The Art of Deception in Alchemy: Transmutations of base metal into silver or gold performed by alchemists was likely an art of deception, by special recipes to make the metal look like gold.

Alchemical Coins and Medals: A selection of interesting alchemical coins and medals, made by alchemical transmutation or as commemoration, with alchemical symbols.

Alchemical Amulets: Examples of magical amulets with alchemical connections used for healing, protection etc., and some of Rosicrucian origin.

Is Transmutation of Metals Possible?: Alchemical transmutation of metals, historically and modern, with underlying theories.

The Electrum Magicum Bell: An investigation into the Alchemical Table Bell of Emperor Rudolf II, which turns out to be a magical bell made out of Electrum magicum.

Alchemical Ovens: A few examples of artistic ornamentation of alchemical ovens, or athanors.

Glass

Glass and Alchemy: History of alchemy and glass making, and the role of alchemists in creating new glass techniques.

The Imitation of Gemstones: The imitation of gemstones, or precious stones, in the history of alchemy, through coloring of glass.

Earth and Stone

Porcelain and Alchemists: The discovery process of porcelain by alchemists, in China and in Europe; and the story of Böttger and the Meissen factory.

Ceramics made by Alchemists: Ceramics or earthenware with glazing techniques was developed by alchemists.

The Magical Door, or Porta Alchemica: Symbols and engraved inscriptions on the Alchemica Door, or Porta Alchemica, in Rome, Italy; and their meaning.

Alchemical Paintings and Engravings

The Foolish Alchemist: Paintings showing the alchemist as a misguided person trying to transmute metals to gold, or to find the Philosopher’s Stone.

The Alchemist as a Learned Man: In alchemical paintings, the alchemist is sometimes portrayed as a learned man. A man who has a wide range of knowledge.

A Successful Business: The portrayal of alchemists as successful business men, in their function as chemists or apothecaries.

The Alchemical Virgin: The Virgin Mary in alchemical emblems, and an analysis of the 17th century painting The Alchemical Virgin, in Reims, France, and its alchemical connection to the Jesuit order.

Divine Revelation: Alchemical paintings and engravings showing that divine revelation was sought after by practical and hermetic alchemists.

Music in Alchemy: Depictions of musical instruments in alchemical engravings; the music in Atalanta Fugiens by Michael Maier, and a few alchemical songs.

Melancholy as the Alchemical First State: An analysis of the alchemical symbols in Albrecht Durer’s Melencolia, and a few other melancholy paintings and engravings of his time period.

Engraving Design for a Tapestry: An alchemical interpretation of a Giochi di Putti (Putti games) from the Tapezzerie de Papa (The Tapestries of the Pope), engravings made by Maestro del Dado, or ‘Master of the Die’, who was an Italian engraver and printmaker.

Alchemical Frontispieces: A few examples of frontispieces from alchemical books, with an explanation of their symbols and scenes.

Post Stamps and Alchemists: Famous alchemists commemorated in post stamps, with an explanation about their accomplishments.

Tarot of the Philosopher’s Stone: This is a 22 card Major Arcana only tarot deck, based on traditional and personal interpretations of hermetic alchemy corresponding to the archetypical meanings of the major arcana cards.

Contemporary Artists

Various Contemporary Artists: A selection of contemporary artists who made drawings or paintings with alchemical themes.

Atalanta Fugiens, by Laura Lipton: Twenty modern paintings by Laura Lipton as versions of emblems from the 1617 edition of Atalanta Fugiens by Michael Maier.

Splendor Solis, by Laura Lipton: Two beautifully painted versions of the alchemical manuscript Splendor Solis: an original from 1582, and one from Laura Lipton of the 1990’s.

A Review of The Alchemy of the Philosophers, by Salvador Dali: ten prints, six serigraphs, and alchemical texts.