“The Amphitheater of Eternal Knowledge,” Hamburg, 1595.


“The Amphitheater of Eternal Knowledge,” Hamburg, 1595.


“The Amphitheater of Eternal Knowledge,” Hamburg, 1595.


“The Amphitheater of Eternal Knowledge,” Hamburg, 1595.


“The Amphitheater of Eternal Knowledge,” Hamburg, 1595.

“The images, in other words, invite the viewer to engage in a meditation on the nature of the universe and on the links between the earthly and the divine, the corporeal and the spiritual. Of course, such a statement would be equally true of many other instances of early modern alchemical and Hermetic symbolism. I suspect that a lot of the meaning in these images and the text that accompanies them has actually been lost, due to the fact that alchemical practice depended upon face-to-face interactions (like the one between John Dee and Khunrath) which were never recorded. And this was precisely what was intended – the true secrets of early modern alchemy were intended for a small number of the “elect” and were elaborately concealed in complex and often inscrutable language when they were allowed into printed works.”

Benjamin Breen

see more on his excellent blog post.

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