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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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view 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.

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Credit: 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. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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About this work

Description

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

Publication/Creation

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

Physical description

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

Publications note

Jacques van Lennep, Alchimie, Brussels 1984, pp. 142-144

Reference

Wellcome Library no. 38502i

Lettering note

Bears number: 13 [reversed]

Type/Technique




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