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Arthur Dee illustration and Ripley Scroll
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adammclean
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Joined: Fri Sep 14th, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 602
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 Posted: Sat Oct 4th, 2008 10:48 pm
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I just discovered that a coloured drawing used as a frontispiece to a 17th century manuscript copy of  one of Arthur Dee's works is derived from the first roundel from the Ripley Scroll. This is in -

British Library MS. Sloane 1876.
Paper. Octavo. 92 folios. 17th Century.
1. Arca arcanorum abstrusae hermeticae scientiae ingressum, progressum, coronidem, verbis apertissimus explicans, ex selectissimis et celeberrimis authoribus collecta et antehac a nemine hac methodo distributa; opera et studio Arthuri Dee, Magni Imperatoris Russiae per annos bis septem Archiatri, cum epistola ad Oxoniae praesides etc., et praefatione dat Moscuae 10 Aug. 1634, praemissis. ff.1-83.


This image, which I show on the left below, has somewhat more detail than the versions from most of the Ripley Scrolls. For comparison I show my own redrawing of the image based on the copy in the Fitzwilliam in Cambridge. The image in the Arthur Dee, for example, clearly shows the serpent around the tree, while this is only shown as a line in the Fitzwilliam. Also instead of lines connecting the heads of the male and female figures to the Sun and Moon, the Dee frontispiece clearly shows instead columns of vapours  precipitating down from Sun and Moon (or rising up from the male and female figures). There are some other interesting variations in the imagery - the female on the left is winged, and the dragon attacking the male figure is depicted instead as a lion in the Dee frontispiece. Now I wonder if there are any other drawings in the Sloane manuscript.

Attached Image (viewed 2690 times):

Arthur Dee - Ripley Scroll.jpg

Last edited on Sat Oct 4th, 2008 10:50 pm by adammclean


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