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A black man with a red head and right arm emerges from a foul stream into a landscape where a winged woman is waiting for him with a red garment; representing the transformations of the alchemical work from corruption to perfection. Watercolour painting.

Trismosin, Salomon.

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view A black man with a red head and right arm emerges from a foul stream into a landscape where a winged woman is waiting for him with a red garment; representing the transformations of the alchemical work from corruption to perfection. Watercolour painting.
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Credit: A black man with a red head and right arm emerges from a foul stream into a landscape where a winged woman is waiting for him with a red garment; representing the transformations of the alchemical work from corruption to perfection. Watercolour painting. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)


About this work

Description

Lennep quotes the original text, which describes "un être condamnée aux cruels supplices d'un cloaque, paraissait aussi noir qu'un Maure, n'épargnant rien de ses forces pour délivrer son corps condamné aux infectes prisons de ce bourbier fangeux et plein d'immondices. Comme chacun restait sourd à sa complainte, il n'aspirait plus qu'à la Parque inhumaine, lorsqu'une jeune beauté plein d'humanité, vint à son secours." As well as being called a "moor" in this text, other alchemical texts refer to the figure as an Ethiopian (see Lennep, op. cit. p. 119). The text goes on to tell how the woman clothes the man in the robe, lifts him up and takes him with her to heaven

Publication/Creation

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

Physical description

1 painting : watercolour ; image 40 x 25.2 cm.

Publications note

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

Reference

Wellcome Library no. 38738i

Reproduction note

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

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