Dragons and griffins around a lone flowering tree in a landscape on the outskirts of a town; representing a stage in the alchemical process. Coloured etching after etching, ca. 17th century.
- Flamel, Nicolas, -1418.
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About this work
Flamel writes that on this page was "painted a faire flowre on the top of a very high mountaine, which was sore shaken by the north wind; it had the foot blew [blue], the flowers white and red, the leaves shining like fine gold: And round about it the dragons and griffins of the north made their nests and abode" (ibid. p. 9) Dixon (ibid, p. xxx) comments that "Poisson and Grillot de Givry interpret this image respectively as an allegory of the 'two sperms, sulfur and mercury', and as the sublimation of mercury". She goes on to suggest other possible meanings: the tree is the "golden flower", symbol of the womb of the Virgin Mary; symbol of the stage of the 'lapis' in alchemy; and "the precarious situation of the alchemical flower as it is buffeted by north winds and menaced by monsters"
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