An alchemist's laboratory inhabited by monkeys: to the right they are shown calling at the poorhouse, destitute after their obsessive, fruitless experiments. Etching by P. van der Borcht, ca. 1580.
- Borcht, Petrus van der, 1545-1608.
About this work
Brinkman, loc. cit., explores the connections between the prints of an alchemist by Pieter Bruegel (1558) and by Maarten de Vos (1570), and this print by Van der Borcht, which reconstructs the scene as a singerie. He concludes that the present is the later, and loses some of the satirical symbolism of the first two, such as the alchemist throwing his last coin into his experimenting apparatus
Docta etiam sanos plantis haurite liquores, / Queis aegro medicam sedula praestet opem. Pour guarir maladie et tout mal qu'endommage, / Ils distilent ici diuerse herbe en breuuage ...
1 print : etching ; platemark 19.6 x 28 cm
A. Brinkman, De alchemist in de prentkunst, Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1982, pp. 41-43
Wellcome Library no. 17512i
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