Collection ID: 0023 | Metadata type: TEI
Lewis E M 28:26-27 Miniature from an alchemical manuscript
TitleMiniature from an alchemical manuscript
- Council on Library and Information Resources
Call numberLewis E M 28:26-27
(Philadelphia, United States, Free Library of Philadelphia, John Frederick Lewis Collection of European Manuscripts)
PublisherFree Library of Philadelphia
- Here, the complete and undivided unity of winged Hermaphrodite is represented by a single crown and unified body. Hermaphrodite stands on two mounds above the mercurial dragon, and holds a single coiled snake representing unity born of the triad in his/her right hand and a chalice with three serpents representing the three realms of nature with his/her left. Because these symbols were generally used by alchemical writers and because there is no surviving text, it is unclear which text these miniatures illustrated, although it has been suggested that they once belonged to a copy of the Rosarium philosophorum, attributed to Arnald of Villanova (ca. 1240 - 1311).
- Crowned Hermaphrodite (Androgyne or Rebis)
- Here, Philosophical Mercury, representing the female principle, stands between two trees whose trunks are set with ten golden eagles, representing the highest number of distillations. The trees entwine above her head to encapsulate the sun and the moon, signifying her dual nature. Because these symbols were generally used by alchemical writers and because there is no surviving text, it is unclear which text these miniatures illustrated, although it has been suggested that they once belonged to a copy of the Rosarium philosophorum, attributed to Arnald of Villanova (ca. 1240 - 1311).
- Philosophical Mercury (Mercurius)
- Alchemy, a forerunner of modern science, sought to discern the spiritual and temporal nature of reality, its structure, laws, and functions through the physical properties of substances. Its language and method employed cryptic symbolism to convey the relationships between the physical and metaphysical worlds. These miniatures are typical examples of alchemical art.
Extent92 x 124 mm
- 15th century
- These images and the content of Free Library of Philadelphia Lewis E M 28:26-27: Miniature from an alchemical manuscript are free of known copyright restrictions and in the public domain. See the Creative Commons Public Domain Mark page for usage details, http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/mark/1.0/.
- To the extent possible under law, Free Library of Philadelphia, Special Collections has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to this metadata about Free Library of Philadelphia Lewis E M 28:26-27: Miniature from an alchemical manuscript. This work is published from: United States. For a summary of CC0, see https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/. Legal code: https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/legalcode.
Lewis E M 28.26 front
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Lewis E M 28.26 reverse
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Lewis E M 28.27 front
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