|Moderated by: alchemyd|
|On another thread people were interested in an 18th century engraving from Christian Friedrich Sendimir von Siebenstern Chymischer Monden-schein, Frankfurt, 1739.
This shows a garden of Eden landscape upon which the Four Winds blow. We see the creatures living on the Earth, in Water and in the Air. Under a canopy we see three alchemical operations, using different grades of heat.
On the left we see a strong fire in which a crucible is set on the furnace, and around this is 'solve coagula tinge'. In the middle is a medium fire in a furnace and here the work proceeds in three flasks labelled 'corpus' (body), 'spiritus' and 'anima' (soul). On the right we see a shallow vessel set on a plinth. The rays of the Sun are seen above, being reflected off the Moon, then focused through a lens and brought down into that vessel. This very gentle heat appears to be creating or forming two interlaced triangles (the seal of Solomon). Thus the three facets seen in the first and second furnaces appear to be interlinked together in these two triangles.
Below is a verse in German.
Der Athem Gottes ists, der Lust und Leben giebt,
Der Sohn und Monden-schein, ein jeder Meister Liebt,
Das Wesen so daraus, mit weyl, der Weise machet,
Hat Adam schon gewust, als Eva ihn anlachet.
This refers to the spirit of God giving desire and life force. The Garden of Eden theme is suggested by the mention of Adam and Eve. Perhaps one of our German colleagues could translate this 18th century German into modern English for us.
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Last edited on Wed Oct 3rd, 2007 10:34 am by adammclean
|The frontispiece engraving from Chymischer Monden-Schein, 1739, seems to have been used as the inspiration for another engraving, some eleven years later, this time as the frontispiece to Carl Herrmann Gravel Fontina Bernhardi revelata, 1750.
Here we have the landscape with the Four Winds and the animals on the earth and the creatures in the water element in the lake behind the foreground wall which is similar in form to the furnaces of the Chymischer Monden-Schein image. The birds in the air are no longer seen, but instead we have the image of Mercury flying above Saturn. Here we have the crucible with 'solve, coagula, tinge', and the three flasks with 'corpus, spiritus, anima'. The left side is the 'via sicca' (the dry way) while the little furnace on the right is described as the 'via humida' (the wet way).
So we see how the imagery of the Chymischer Monden-Schein has been considerably transformed, though still recognisable. The moon and sun still shine though their rays are not caught and focused into a basin.
The imagery in the upper part of this engraving is taken from another emblem produced earlier in the 18th century, the thirteenth plate in Georgius von Welling Opus mago-cabbalisticum et theosophicum, printed at Frankfurt in 1719, at Saltzburg in 1729, and at Hamburg in 1735.
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Last edited on Wed Oct 3rd, 2007 09:05 pm by adammclean
|It is interesting to see how an engraving was often reused in other publications. One has to realise that engravings were printed on a different press from letterpress text. So if a printer had run off too many engravings for the sales of the book it was originally intended, then he might then insert this this engraving into other similar works.
In the case of this engraving, it seems most likely that it was originally produced for the Chymischer Monden-Schein , as the text often refers to rays of the Sun and Moon, as in this section which relates directly to the imagery on the engraving :-
Quoting John de Monte Raphaim the text states "A wise man says, such a water is to be drawn out of the rays of the Sun and the Moon, in a wonderful manner, by a skillful master of the Art. This rarefied water is a material compared to the light, a Forma compared to the Created or Elemental, but it is itself an astral substance, and a tincture of all natural things."
and later in the text:-
"I will tell you this much however, that the rays of the Sun and Moon and dew must be collected in a clean jar or vessel, separated from rain and dirt, stench, smoke, and also from flying and wandering animals."
Last edited on Sun Oct 7th, 2007 12:46 pm by adammclean