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Alchemy discussion forum > Bibliography > Articles on alchemy > Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s Composite Portraits and the Alchemical Universe

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Paul Ferguson

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"At the Renaissance noble court, particularly in the principalities of the Holy Roman Empire, alchemical pursuits were wildly popular and encouraged. By the reign of Rudolf II in the late sixteenth century, Prague had become synonymous with the study of alchemy, as the emperor, renowned for his interest in natural magic, welcomed numerous influential alchemists from across Europe to his imperial residence and private laboratory. Given the prevalence of alchemical activities and the ubiquity of the occult at the Habsburg court, it seems plausible that the art growing out of this context would have been shaped by this unique intellectual climate."

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