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An enthroned king, wearing three crowns and with a sword in his mouth, having vanquished a green seven headed hydra; an archangel with a key imprisons Lucifer in chains by a roaring fire; representing the culmination of the alchemical process and the sublimation of base matter. Coloured etching after an etching, ca. 17th century.

Flamel, Nicolas, -1418.

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Free to use with attribution CC BYCredit: Wellcome Collection
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Lennep writes that the king represents the gold that is the outcome of the alchemical process; his three crowns represent sulphur, mercury and salt. The beast represents 'materia prima'. The gold could not have been produced without the 'chaining' of sulphur (Lucifer) to mercury (the archangel), through the principle of their fusion, salt (the key). See Lennep, op. cit., p. 144

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

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1 print : etching, with watercolour ; platemark 21.2 x 15 cm

Reference

Wellcome Library no. 38502i

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You can use this work for any purpose, including commercial uses, without restriction under copyright law. You should also provide attribution to the original work, source and licence.

Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) terms and conditions https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

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An enthroned king, wearing three crowns and with a sword in his mouth, having vanquished a green seven headed hydra; an archangel with a key imprisons Lucifer in chains by a roaring fire; representing the culmination of the alchemical process and the sublimation of base matter. Coloured etching after an etching, ca. 17th century. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY


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