A Christ-like figure seated in a boiling vat while a man works a bellows beneath it; representing the process of self-destruction in order to attain the elixir of life. Watercolour painting.
- Part of
- Splendor solis
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About this work
Lennep claims that this image is related to a text by the ancient alchemist Zosimos of Panoplis, who writes: "These old sages voluntarily dismembered themselves and boiled the pieces until a perfect decoction took place, in order to change their feeble old age into a state of force and vigour". The image here also has Christian resonances of baptism and resurrection. In alchemy the dove represented the volatile spirit of putrefying matter (Lennep, p. 122)
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