A young woman, perhaps Prudentia, warns an alchemist of the dangers of abusing fire: in the background fires rage in buildings and mines. Oil painting after Marten de Vos.

  • Vos, Maarten de, 1532-1603.
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About this work


The print on which this painting is based is one work in a set of the four elements, in this case fire. The Latin verses on the print explain the beneficial and dangerous effects of fire. The alchemist is warned by a young woman, probably Prudentia, not to waste his money on the "fallacious art of alchemy" which deceives many. The alchemical equipment is that of the 16th century, including a round alembic with outlets for steam

Physical description

1 painting : oil on wood ; wood approximately 39 x 50 cm


Wellcome Collection 45101i

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