Rivers running in the wilderness, with serpents and fire between them; representing the stage of 'multiplication' in the alchemical process. Coloured etching after etching, ca. 17th century.
- Flamel, Nicolas, -1418.
Selected images from this work
About this work
Flamel's text: "there were painted desarts, or wildernesses, in the middest whereof ran many faire fountaines, from whence there issued out a number of serpents, which ran up and downe here and there" (ibid. p. 8). L. Dixon comments that Poisson and de Grivry "see this image as a symbol of the 'multiplication' of the stone ... This is certainly the proper reading, for in this image the opposite qualities of humid and dry, the "desarts" and "fountains" are intended to suggest the proper environment for the serpents to spawn and increase. The alchemical fountain as a nurturing force equivalent to the 'fountain of life' is illustrated in the Rosarium philosophorum of 1550" (ibid. p. xxix)
Where to find it
Location Status AccessClosed stores