Compendium Alchymist Novum (1706)

Compendium Alchymist Novum (1706)

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Credit: THE GETTY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Compendium Alchymist Novum (1706), title page. The title translates as 'New Alchemists' Compendium'. The Latin text at centre refers to the legend of Pandora's box: 'Pandora illustrata et illuminata'. The book compares the power of chemical science to the Greek myth where opening Pandora's box let loose evil into the world, along with hope. The scenes depict activities related to alchemy, including mining and processing chemicals. An alchemist is at work in his laboratory at lower left. Across top, astrological planetary symbols (representing minerals) are shown on seven mountains illuminated by the rays of the Sun. From left to right: the Sun, Venus, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, Mercury, the Moon. The book's author is named at centre: German physician Johann Michael Faust (1663-1707). The engraver is named at bottom left: Johann Christian Marchand (1680-1711).

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