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The soul being refined like metal in a crucible by an angel, Satan, Venus and Death; representing a test of faith. Etching by C. Murer, ca. 1600-1614.

Murer, Christoph, 1558-1614.
Date
1622

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view The soul being refined like metal in a crucible by an angel, Satan, Venus and Death; representing a test of faith. Etching by C. Murer, ca. 1600-1614.
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Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)
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Credit: The soul being refined like metal in a crucible by an angel, Satan, Venus and Death; representing a test of faith. Etching by C. Murer, ca. 1600-1614. Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)

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About this work

Description

In Murer's play this etching accompanies a speech about purification through martyrdom. It shows allegorically how the human soul is tested by life's tribulations. The soul is refined in an ironworks (the universe) by a team of metalworkers: a good angel ("bonus angelus"), Satan, Venus, and Death. The soul ("Anima") is placed inside a crucible ("Homo", man) and heated in the fires (Tribulations) of a brazier ("Mundus", the physical world). On the left the good angel cools the soul with sanctity by sprinkling holy water (marked "spiritus sanctus", the Holy Ghost) on to it with an aspergillum. The angel's work is countered by the evil forces on the right, who try to make it as hot (sinful) as possible: the devil at the back blows vanity and temptation ("vanitas", "tentationes") at the fire with his bellows, while Venus (a nude woman, representing the flesh, "caro"), adds a burning coal marked "cupiditates" (desires). In the background Death stands by to smash it with a hammer labelled "finis" (end). An hour-glass sits on the floor as an attribute of Death

Publication/Creation

Zurich : Johann Rudolf Wolf, 1622.

Physical description

1 print : etching.

Lettering

Fidei exploratio. CM ...

Publications note

For detailed information on Murer's series, see: Thea Vignau-Wilberg, 'Christoph Murer und die "XL. Emblemata miscella nova"' (Bern : Benteli Verlag, 1982)

Reference

Wellcome Library no. 26678i

Languages

  • Latin



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