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Two amazing alchemical paintings
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adammclean
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 Posted: Fri Oct 12th, 2007 12:10 pm
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Today I managed to obtain a copy of a 1960's French art magazine. In this was an article by the art historian Philippe Audoin, who has written extensively on surrealism. This particular article presented illustrations of two large gouache alchemical paintings. One is of an alchemical grotto and the other of an alchemical fountain. Annoyingly, Audoin does not give us any details of who painted these images, their age or their present location. I suspect they are late 18th century, but they could even be modern recreations by a skilled artist. The imagery is strikingly similar to the coloured emblems in the Marinier manuscript which I published a few months ago.

Here is the first image, which Audoin describes as  the 'alchemical grotto'.

 

Attached Image (viewed 5688 times):

clavicules_grotto.jpg

Last edited on Fri Oct 12th, 2007 12:38 pm by adammclean

adammclean
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 Posted: Mon Oct 15th, 2007 11:39 am
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It seems few people on the discussion forum have any interest in these alchemical paintings. As always, I appear to be interested in an aspect of alchemy that few seem to engage with.

Well I have gone to the bother of scanning these images in and printing them out on my large format printer and they now have pride of place on the wall of my work room.

It is depressing that few people share my interest in this material. Perhaps some people will catch up with me one day.

 

Attached Image (viewed 3966 times):

clavicules_fountain.jpg

Eve Sinaiko
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 Posted: Tue Mar 11th, 2008 02:59 am
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I am a visual artist and work on art-historical material for the most part. I deeply appreciate the images you have collected and posted, including the great variety of works by contemporary artists. I don't usually have any brilliant comments to make about them, but they, and the forum as a whole, are an invaluable resource for me.

Eve S.

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Tue Mar 11th, 2008 02:31 pm
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I think Eve speaks for all of us!

Just because the forum appears "slow" does not mean that people are not reading and enjoying the various contributions. I hope you will not get discouraged Adam.

Regards,

Paul
(who IS getting on with revising his Dorn translation but is finding it harder to knock into shape than he thought it would be)

 

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Tue Mar 11th, 2008 02:45 pm
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Adam, see this link:

http://www.artnet.com/artwork/424958541/424105897/french-school-17-an-allegorical-garden.html

 

adammclean
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 Posted: Thu Mar 13th, 2008 09:29 pm
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Dear Paul,

What a great find !

The  fact that the arms of Brenas family are located at the lower right of the work, most likely indicates they were the patrons of this work and possibly the other two paintings.

 

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Fri Mar 14th, 2008 06:13 am
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I believe the Brenas family are still down there, in Puy-en-Velay and environs. It might be worth contacting them to see if they can shed any light on the authorship of the paintings.

Puy-en-Velay has a long and interesting history as a spiritual centre going back to pre-Christian times:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Puy-en-Velay

 

Carl Lavoie
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 Posted: Mon Nov 30th, 2009 06:05 am
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Good day,

Two questions regarding the documents on this thread.

First, Adam, could you kindly transcribe the text on the phylactères of the snakes and the putto at the center, and of the one held by that female figure on the right, that we see in the painting of the ‘alchemical fountain’? Thanks.


Secondly, on the ‘Allegorical garden’ from the link Paul found, could the image have been influenced somewhat by the book of gardens by Vredeman de Vries?

The design of the garden sections, and with these tiny figures scattered on the scene (although in the panting the perspective is naively denied) ... And de Vries had even some connections with alchemy; we owe him the famous laboratory-oratory plate in Khunrath’s Amphitheatrum, plus a curious engraving of a Fourneau (see van Lennep, Alchimie, 1985, p. 464, ill. 87), and, according to the same author, “a series of alchemists” (see p.304; I didn’t check this one out, nor have I ever heard of this series). But anyway, what I’m suggesting here is that the painter might have leaf through de Vries’ Hortorum viridario rumque, Antwerp 1583 & 1587, (or de Caus) before undertaking his 'Allegorical garden'.


Attached Image (viewed 2538 times):

gardenh.jpg

Last edited on Tue Jun 14th, 2011 02:44 pm by alchemyd

adammclean
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 Posted: Mon Nov 30th, 2009 08:22 pm
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Carl Lavoie wrote:
First, Adam, could you kindly transcribe the text on the phylactères of the snakes and the putto at the center, and of the one held by that female figure on the right, that we see in the painting of the ‘alchemical fountain’?


Erunt duo in carne uno.

Ego sum ostium.


In ipso per ipsum et cum ipso sunto omnia.
Querile primum Regnum Dei.

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Mon Nov 30th, 2009 09:57 pm
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adammclean wrote:
Carl Lavoie wrote:
First, Adam, could you kindly transcribe the text on the phylactères of the snakes and the putto at the center, and of the one held by that female figure on the right, that we see in the painting of the ‘alchemical fountain’?


Erunt duo in carne uno.

Ego sum ostium.


In ipso per ipsum et cum ipso sunto omnia.
Querile primum Regnum Dei.



Shouldn't it be:

In ipso per ipsum et cum ipso sunt omnia.
In Him, through Him and with Him are all things.

Querite primum Regnum Dei.
Seek first the Kingdom of God.

Carl Lavoie
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 Posted: Mon Nov 30th, 2009 10:33 pm
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.

Thank you to you both.

And the putto is referring to the fountain waters, as the entrance?

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Tue Dec 1st, 2009 11:03 am
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And of course 'Erunt duo in carne uno' should be 'Erunt duo in carne una', 'They were two in one flesh'.

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Tue Dec 1st, 2009 11:18 am
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[\quote]"Annoyingly, Audoin does not give us any details of who painted these images, their age or their present location."

 


Does the magazine mention any relevant picture credits or copyright attributions?

I have just reverse-searched the images using TinEye, but no luck.

http://www.tineye.com/

Last edited on Tue Dec 1st, 2009 11:20 am by Paul Ferguson

adammclean
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 Posted: Tue Dec 1st, 2009 11:39 am
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Sorry I just can't read my own handwriting!

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Tue Dec 1st, 2009 04:37 pm
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Sorry to be a pain, but is it possible for Adam to tell us what the inscriptions are on the Alchemical Grotto as well?


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