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• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.

Archive for the ‘Splendor Solis’ tag

 

The Ingenious by Darius Hinks

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My latest cover for Angry Robot Books was revealed this week at the Barnes & Noble blog (where I talk a little about the design aspects) so here it is. The Ingenious is an alchemy-themed fantasy by Darius Hinks, the brief for which required a depiction of the city of Athanor, the central character, Isten, […]

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Weekend links 292

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The Black Sun from Splendor Solis (1582) “attributed to the legendary figure Salomon Trismosin”. Topic B predominates this week. The Black Sun of alchemy was the first thing I thought of when the title of David Bowie’s final album was announced late last year. The Black Sun symbolises the nigredo stage of the alchemical process […]

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De Sphaera

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De Sphaera aka Sphaerae coelestis et planetarum descriptio is a collection of astrological plates and diagrams showing the symbolic attributes of the planets, and also their relations in the heavens according to the beliefs of 1470. There’s an obvious similarity to the celebrated (and much imitated) plates from the Splendor Solis (1582) plates although De […]

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Musaeum Hermeticum

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More from the storehouse of wonders that is the Getty Alchemy Collection at the Internet Archive. The illustrations here are from the 1678 edition of the Musaeum Hermeticum, a lengthy collection of alchemical texts with engraved illustrations by Matthäus Merian (1593–1650). Merian’s illustrations are some of the most frequently reprinted of all those you’ll find in […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {illustrators}, {occult} | 2 comments »

 


A triangular book about alchemy

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Triangular buildings aren’t so very unusual, triangular books, on the other hand, are less common. This example is from the Manly Palmer Hall collection of alchemical manuscripts at the Internet Archive, not only a triangular book but one where most of the pages are written in a symbolic alphabet. A reviewer supplies the following details […]

Posted in {books}, {occult} | 3 comments »

 


Alembic and Ligier Richier

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Current reading is Alembic (1992), a curious novel by Timothy d’Arch Smith whose publishings prior to this were all non-fiction, among them a study of the Uranian poets, a bibliography of Montague Summers, and The Books of the Beast, one of the many books about Aleister Crowley. Alembic reflects some of these interests and blends […]

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Atalanta Fugiens

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Alchemy (1969) by the Third Ear Band. Design by Dave Loxley. For an idea of how these posts often come into being, this one is the result of the following chain of association: an article by Leo Robson about the films of Roman Polanski > A re-viewing of Polanski’s Macbeth > A re-listening to albums […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {design}, {film}, {illustrators}, {music}, {occult} | 5 comments »

 


Splendor Solis revisited

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1. The Arms of the Art I have something of an obsession with the plates of the allegorical alchemical text known as the Splendor Solis, hence another post on the subject. This new entry is partly a bookmark for my own convenience, and also a pointer for those who keep arriving here searching for these […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {occult} | 4 comments »

 


Laurie Lipton’s Splendor Solis

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Splendor Solis: Winged (1989). Following from the post earlier this month about the Splendor Solis series of alchemical plates, Thom draws my attention to a contemporary reworking by American artist Laurie Lipton. I seem to recall seeing one of these at Phantasmaphile but didn’t think at the time to see whether Ms Lipton had any […]

Posted in {art}, {occult} | 1 comment »

 


The Arms of the Art

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The Arms of the Art (2000). An addendum to the Splendor Solis post. The Arms of the Art was a drawing I did in 2000 intended to inaugurate a series of pencil improvisations based on the Splendor Solis alchemical plates. As things turned out I only managed the first in the series (the picture it […]

Posted in {art}, {occult}, {painting}, {work} | 5 comments »

 


Splendor Solis

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Venus: The Peacock’s Tail. The Tarot-like illustrations to the Splendor Solis, a 16th-century alchemical manuscript, have fascinated me for years, ever since I saw them reproduced in the pages of Man, Myth & Magic. Despite their familiarity, the copies online are less than satisfactory, mostly poor scans from books with inconsistent colours. Given the amount […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {occult} | 6 comments »

 


 



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