Splendor Solis


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 of original alchemical documents being made available by the world’s libraries it’s only a matter of time until a decent set of reproductions turn up. Until then there’s a complete set of the plates here with details about the book and links to further information. As usual, if anyone finds better copies—preferably from a copy of the original text—please leave a comment.


The Black Sun.


Hermaphrodite with Egg.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Amphitheatrum Sapientiae Aeternae
Cabala, Speculum Artis Et Naturae In Alchymia
Digital alchemy

6 thoughts on “Splendor Solis”

  1. Yes, that’s very similar to the final picture in the series. I don’t recall seeing that cover before but then I’ve not heard much by the Art Bears. I know Cutler’s associated groups, and have a fondness for Slapp Happy even though, er…he wasn’t with them.

  2. Thanks, Thom, these are so very familiar to me (I have some of them from a Taschen postcard set on my bathroom wall…) that this is the kind of post I often feel I don’t have to make because “everyone knows about this already”. It’s good to be reminded sometimes that things can still be a fresh discovery for others. I’d love to have the whole set as a series of prints.

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