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adammclean
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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'.

 

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clavicules_grotto.jpg

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

adammclean
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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 3974 times):

clavicules_fountain.jpg

Eve Sinaiko
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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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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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Adam, see this link:

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

 

adammclean
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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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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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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 2551 times):

gardenh.jpg

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

adammclean
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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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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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.

Thank you to you both.

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

Paul Ferguson
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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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[\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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Sorry I just can't read my own handwriting!

Paul Ferguson
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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?

adammclean
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The two pillars have  "ora" and "labora".

The arch has  Kaos  (in Greek), "Doctrina", "Iudicium", "Dei", "Veritas" and a word possibly in Greek that I cannot read.

The "ora" pillar has the Hebrew word "Elohim" below it and at the base "IEIVNIUM" (fasting, abstinence).

The "labora" pillar has a Hebrew word I don't recognise possibly reading "Yod Yod Heh" and lower down "Eleemosina" (charity).



Paul Ferguson
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I cannot find much in English about the mid-16th century French alchemist (and treasurer to Henri II) Raoul Moreau, who seems to have had an 'alchemical garden' at Thoiry:

http://www.cg78.fr/archives/thoiry/chateau/notices/jardins.htm

"1559: le premier jardin de Thoiry ordonnait la vue dans les axes architecturaux correspondants à la fonction solaire de la demeure d'un alchimiste, construite selon le nombre d'or par Philibert de l'Orme."

Might be worth investigating.

Attached Image (viewed 1330 times):

024.jpg

Last edited on Fri Dec 18th, 2009 06:36 pm by Paul Ferguson

Carl Lavoie
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Here’s another garden with alchemical connotations. Compare with the ‘allegorical garden’ of the previous page. Same period too.

MS. 3047, Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal, fond français (XVII th century).

Image taken from : Claude Gagnon, « Description du Livre des Figures Hiéroglyphiques attribué à Nicolas Flamel, suivi […] d’une reproduction des sept talismans du Livre d’Abraham… », Montréal, 1977.



Paul Ferguson
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It's interesting that many Renaissance gardens seems to have been inspired by the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili:

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypnerotomachia_Poliphili

'L'influence la plus marquée de ce roman se fit alors sentir dans l'art du jardin de la Renaissance. Cosme Ier de Médicis fit aménager les jardins de sa Villa de Castello, dans lesquels il avait passé son enfance, afin d'en faire une réplique exacte de ceux du Songe de Poliphile. D'autres imitations ou jardins inspirés du livre suivirent: les jardins de Bomarzo, ceux de la Villa Francesco de Medici à Florence, les jardins de Frascati dans la Villa Aldobrandini et le Jardin de Boboli.'

...and, I believe, Isola Bella (illustrated) in Lake Maggiore also:

http://www.gardenvisit.com/garden/isola_bella

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isola_bella_aerea.jpg

Paul Ferguson
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Just spotted this book on this theme:

http://www.ibs.it/code/9788888335384/balistreri-rosanna/alchimia-e-architettura-un.html

"Studio sulle ville di Bagheria, Villa Palagonia, Villa Valguarnera e Villa Butera dal punto di vista architettonico, iconografico in relazione all'inedito aspetto alchemico. Un compendio fotografico di Fosco Maraini con immagini dall'archivio Alliata di Villa Valguarnera."

adammclean
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That looks interesting. It may be a bit on the speculative side, but I am intrigued enough to go and buy a copy. There is a longer review on

http://pieromontana.splinder.com/post/22298176/Alchimia+e+Architettura+di+Ros


Paul Ferguson
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Some pages are available for review at:

http://issuu.com/eugeniomariafalconeeditore/docs/alchimiaarchitettura

Paul Ferguson
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adammclean wrote:
That looks interesting. It may be a bit on the speculative side, but I am intrigued enough to go and buy a copy. There is a longer review on

http://pieromontana.splinder.com/post/22298176/Alchimia+e+Architettura+di+Ros




It is based on a dissertation for the Laurea so is presumably quite a serious piece of work. Only about 100 pages by the looks of it.

Paul Ferguson
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adammclean wrote:
That looks interesting. It may be a bit on the speculative side, but I am intrigued enough to go and buy a copy. There is a longer review on

http://pieromontana.splinder.com/post/22298176/Alchimia+e+Architettura+di+Ros




I gather this book turned out to be a bit of a turkey :?

There is a good amateur video without commentary about the Villa Palagonia here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpZOKkHc9FU&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HvUIRexzR8&feature=related

Can't see anything very alchemical in either of the videos. Nice cat at 1:00 in video 2 though :)

Last edited on Sat Mar 27th, 2010 09:14 am by Paul Ferguson

Carl Lavoie
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I cannot find much in English about the mid-16th century French alchemist (and treasurer to Henri II) Raoul Moreau, who seems to have had an 'alchemical garden' at Thoiry:

http://www.cg78.fr/archives/thoiry/chateau/notices/jardins.htm

"1559: le premier jardin de Thoiry ordonnait la vue dans les axes architecturaux correspondants à la fonction solaire de la demeure d'un alchimiste, construite selon le nombre d'or par Philibert de l'Orme."

Might be worth investigating.

 

I came upon this, almost by accident.

The first entry is ... a Guide Michelin! The entry (p.404 et suiv.) ends with an email adress. Maybe there is a curator on site who could tell us something about Raoul Moreau's hobbies.

The second book is, unfortunately, not available on-line.

http://books.google.ca/books?hl=fr&q=Raoul+Moreau+magie

 

.

 

Paul Ferguson
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Carl Lavoie wrote:
I cannot find much in English about the mid-16th century French alchemist (and treasurer to Henri II) Raoul Moreau, who seems to have had an 'alchemical garden' at Thoiry:

http://www.cg78.fr/archives/thoiry/chateau/notices/jardins.htm

"1559: le premier jardin de Thoiry ordonnait la vue dans les axes architecturaux correspondants à la fonction solaire de la demeure d'un alchimiste, construite selon le nombre d'or par Philibert de l'Orme."

Might be worth investigating.

 

I came upon this, almost by accident.

The first entry is ... a Guide Michelin! The entry (p.404 et suiv.) ends with an email adress. Maybe there is a curator on site who could tell us something about Raoul Moreau's hobbies.

The second book is, unfortunately, not available on-line.

http://books.google.ca/books?hl=fr&q=Raoul+Moreau+magie

 

.

 


Thanks! Apparently it's now an animal park like Longleat with lions, tigers etc. :shock:

There's a .pdf here with some Moreau family details and the poem Ronsard dedicated to him (page 10). Nothing about alchemy though:

http://racineshistoire.free.fr/LGN/PDF/Moreau.pdf

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Regarding the links between H. Khunrath and Vredeman de Vries (see above, the 8th message on 'page 1'), this interesting but too short paper by Helene Peereboom (pp. 13–18), which shows, at the end, three surprising images : two compositions inspired by that of Vredeman de Vries, and his Daniel and his visions, devised a good fifteen years before his celebrated Oratorium-Laboratorium !

 

http://www.amsterdamhermetica.nl/documents/hermetica_De_Hermet_02,_Autumn_2010.pdf

.

Last edited on Mon Jun 27th, 2011 05:37 am by Carl Lavoie

adammclean
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Vredeman de Vries Scenographiae sive Perspectivae.

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Vriedmanl.jpg

Carl Lavoie
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Just adding this other one to the 'Alchemical gardens'  (EDIT : link to the plate):


 

http://books.google.ca/books?id=ReZQAAAAcAAJ&hl=fr&hl=fr&pg=PA171&img=1&zoom=3&sig=ACfU3U3L6x6OM32wL9SXSCCw1yUsbO-2og&ci=14%2C42%2C870%2C750&edge=0

.

Last edited on Thu Jun 28th, 2012 04:28 pm by Carl Lavoie

Paul Ferguson
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Paul Ferguson wrote:
Adam, see this link:

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

 


Link no longer works unfortunately, but here is that painting apparently for sale:

http://www.aradergalleries.com/detail.php?id=2507

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.
In his book on the Mannerism (1967), John Shearman refers a few times to the cast bronzes of another artist from Vries, the sculptor Adriaen de Vries (1556-1626).

Son of an apothecary, after his apprenticeship with goldsmiths and metal founders, “De Vries returned in 1601 to Prague, where Rudolf made him Kammerbildhauer. He remained in Prague after Rudolf's death in 1612”.

In this 1998 monograph, we find on pp. 201-205 a study of his ‘Allegory of hermetic wisdom’, dating from his Prague years. Slightly far-fetched, I would say, but still interesting :

http://books.google.ca/books?id=PIK5YfeBr9wC&lpg=PA118&ots=mws6rO9a46&dq=vries%20Augsburg%2C%20mercury%20fountain&pg=PA201#v=onepage&q=alchemy&f=false
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