Splendor Solis, 1530-35 by Salomon Trismosin, is the most magnificent alchemical illuminated manuscript that depicts the Great Work, i.e. the making of the Philosopher’s Stone in 22 enigmatic images.
Over the course of 4 evenings we will open and unpack each of the 22 images and do an initial review and interpretation of the individual image and how it relates to the text and to actual 16th century alchemical practice. We’ll also consider the larger structure of the work, that is, how the images are shaped and grouped as a whole.
This evening will introduce the book, its makers and an overview of 16thcentury alchemy. We will then examine the first four images that depict the basic theories of the alchemical cosmos – the Title Page; and the three images from the two “Treatises” of the book.