Find thousands of books, manuscripts, visual materials and unpublished archives from our collections, many of them with free online access.

Three-tiered symbolic diagram of the art of alchemy: top level, symbols of the states of matter; middle level, cabalistic diagrams; lower level, the two techniques of alchemy: distillation and calcination. Engraving by R. Custos, 1616.

  • Custos, Raphael, 1590-1651.
  • Pictures

Selected images from this work

About this work


The engraving is symbolically divided into 'Natur' (left) and 'Kunst' (right). The upper level shows the conversion of aquiline, volatile "prima materia" into an "ultima materia" (lettering on open books held by men on each side) harnessed by art and represented by the lion. The middle level shows a miner chipping at stone in a cave (left) and another miner bringing precious metals from the cave on to a bridge. The lower image shows the chemical apparatus appropriate to each of the two 'ways' of alchemy


[Augsburg] : Stephan Michelspacher, 1616.

Physical description

1 print : line engraving

Lettering note

Lettering in two insets at top left and right: "Cabala und die Alchÿmei,/ Geben dir die hochste Artzneÿ./ Da zu auch den weissen Stein,/ In dem das Fundament allein./ Ligt, wie fur Augen zu sehn ist,/ In disen Figurn zu der frist. Ach Gott hilf das wir danckbar sei,/ Fur diese Gab so hoch und rein./ Wem du nun auf thuts Hertz und Sinn̄,/ Der da volkomen ist hierin./ Zu bereitten hie dises Werck,/ Dem sëy gegeben alle Sterck"


Wellcome Library no. 35413i



  • German

Where to find it

  • LocationStatusAccess
    Closed stores

Permanent link