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A three headed monster in an alchemical flask, representing the composition of the alchemical philosopher's stone: salt, sulphur, and mercury. Watercolour painting.

Trismosin, Salomon.

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view A three headed monster in an alchemical flask, representing the composition of the alchemical philosopher's stone: salt, sulphur, and mercury. Watercolour painting.
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Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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Credit: A three headed monster in an alchemical flask, representing the composition of the alchemical philosopher's stone: salt, sulphur, and mercury. Watercolour painting. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)


About this work

Description

Lennep identifies the beast as Cerberus, while he notes that Hartlaub calls it a lion. The three colours here (white, red and black) are the colours through which the philosopher's stone passes in the process of transmutation

Publication/Creation

[Place of publication not identified] : [publisher not identified]

Physical description

1 painting : watercolour ; image 40.6 x 19.6 cm.

Publications note

For detailed information on this series, cf. J. van Lennep, L'alchimie, Brussels 1984, pp. 110-129

This image is one of a sub-series in the 'Splendor solis', showing crowned alchemical flasks containing symbols of the various stages of the Great Work. In the original manuscript, scenes of symbolically relevant activities in village life are shown outside the image, along with an astronomical sign at the top

Reference

Wellcome Library no. 38824i

Reproduction note

After: Salomon Trismosin, Splendor solis, 1582, British Library, Harley ms. 3469

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