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Alchemical print in the Hennin Collection
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adammclean
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 Posted: Tue Dec 2nd, 2008 09:14 pm
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Some years ago I found a poor quality illustration of an engraving of Basil Valentine's Triumphal Chariot. It seems a very interesting complex engraving incorporating many symbolic quotations from alchemical works. It is in the form of a processional.

I know that it is a print in the Hennin Collection in the Bibliotheque Nationale, but without a reference number I am unable to order a copy to be made. I have not been able to get access to a printed or online catalogue of the Hennin Collection of prints.


Attached Image (viewed 1312 times):

Basil Valentine Triumphal Chariot.jpg

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Tue Dec 2nd, 2008 10:55 pm
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Hi Adam,

You can use the BN-OPALE Plus search engine to search the Hennin catalogue:

http://catalogue.bnf.fr/jsp/recherche_simple_champ_unique.jsp?nouvelleRecherche=O&nouveaute=O&host=catalogue

Enter Valentin, Basile and you will get 36 hits. Click on the '36' and you will get a list. Maybe you will find it in there ;)

There is also a separate search engine for images:

http://catalogue.bnf.fr/jsp/recherche_images_fixes.jsp?nouvelleRecherche=O&host=catalogue

Paul

Last edited on Wed Dec 3rd, 2008 12:32 am by Paul Ferguson

adammclean
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 Posted: Wed Dec 3rd, 2008 10:10 am
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I have tried searching the Bibliotheque Nationale catalogue without success.  The engraving may not be listed under 'Valentin'.  What I was hoping to find was a catalogue of the Hennin collection that I could look through for any relevant entry. The main research resource appears to be a printed catalogue

Georges Duplessis, Inventaire de la collection d'estampes relatives à l'histoire de France léguée en 1863 à la Bn par Michel Hennin, Paris, H. Menu, 1877-1884.

I don't think these descriptions have been entered into an online database.
As it is an individual print it does not seem to be accessible through the usual
searches.

I may have to write directly to the Departement des Estampes, but have little
hope of success without a better description or catalogue entry.

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Wed Dec 3rd, 2008 11:44 am
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The contract to digitize the Hennin Collection seems to have been awarded in 2006. They have about 13,000 items to get through. I do not know what progress they have made.

Volume V of the Duplessis (the Index) is available commercially as a paperback.

Do the written legends in the drawing contain any clues as to its provenance etc.?

Last edited on Wed Dec 3rd, 2008 02:06 pm by Paul Ferguson

adammclean
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 Posted: Fri May 27th, 2011 09:16 am
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I recently managed to find an engraved version of this image.

Carl Lavoie
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 Posted: Fri May 27th, 2011 03:45 pm
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.

Do the written legends in the drawing contain any clues as to its provenance etc.?

 

Like, who is the engraver, and is it an original picture or the engraving of another artist's composition ?

.

adammclean
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 Posted: Fri May 27th, 2011 04:01 pm
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I am not sure which came first, the print in the Hennin collection or this engraving.

On the lower right margin of the engraving is the statement.

"Das Original befindet sich bei Alb: Bechter in Stuttgart."

The labels on the actual engraving are in Latin.

There is no date on it but it looks 17th or early 18th century.

It shows a triumphal chariot drawn by Mercury riding on what appears to be a triple headed griffon. In the chariot are Basil Valentine, Abbot Trithemius and Abbot Dionysius (dated as 1240).

Carl Lavoie
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 Posted: Fri May 27th, 2011 04:38 pm
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.

German, then. Hum, three monks, two of them abbots, and quite plump, in a chariot (pulled by that apocalyptic beast) that could fit right in the carnival of Venice.

 

Are you sure that there isn't a politico-religious undertone here, even if it's a late print ?
.

Last edited on Fri May 27th, 2011 06:42 pm by Carl Lavoie

adammclean
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 Posted: Sun May 29th, 2011 05:52 pm
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Carl Lavoie wrote:
.
Are you sure that there isn't a politico-religious undertone here, even if it's a late print ?


There could well be. There was quite a significant number of satirical prints issued using the format of a triumphal procession.

The labels on the image seem to refer mostly to alchemical concerns, and I don't find any political message.

As the three religious figures are all dated, it may be that the creator of the emblem was seeking to place 'Basil Valentine' firmly in the 15th century. Already in the 17th century it appears that readers of alchemical literature may not have been entirely convinced of 'Valentine' as a 15th century monk.

Here is my coloured version of the engraving. It differs symbolically in a number of places from the item in the Hennin Collection. Sadly I have not been able to gain access to a copy of this in the Bibliotheque Nationale.

Attached Image (viewed 1550 times):

triumphal_chariot.jpg

Last edited on Sun May 29th, 2011 05:54 pm by adammclean

alchemyd
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 Posted: Thu Mar 28th, 2013 11:01 am
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The Ritman Library has recently posted some information on this engraving, and also a beautiful oil painted version on panel.


http://www.ritmanlibrary.com/2013/03/an-alchemical-triumphal-chariot/


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