Rubens by Piero Torriti

By Piero Torriti

Simone Martini (c. 1284 – 1344) used to be an Italian painter born in Siena. He used to be a huge determine within the improvement of early Italian portray and enormously encouraged the advance of the foreign Gothic sort. it truly is suggestion that Martini used to be a student of Duccio di Buoninsegna, the prime Sienese painter of his time. in line with past due Renaissance artwork biographer Giorgio Vasari, Simone used to be as an alternative a scholar of Giotto di Bondone, with whom he went to Rome to color on the outdated St. Peters Basilica, Giotto additionally executing a mosaic there. Martinis brother-in-law used to be the artist Lippo Memmi. little or no documentation of Simones existence survives, and plenty of attributions are debated through artwork historians.

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The peacock represents a stage at which an iridescence appears within the vessel. The swan symbolizes albedo, a whitening stage of purification. In both alchemical and Christian/classical symbolism, the pelican picks blood from its own breast to feed its chicks, while the phoenix is the bird that rises from fire. In alchemical imagery, these birds are usually conflated so that a single bird picking its breast arises from fire, sometimes surrounded by its chicks. This represents the reddening stage of conjunctio, the stage at which the Philosopher’s Stone appears.

For the anagogical interpretation, Silberer credited the American writer Ethan Allen Hitchcock as one of the first modern authors to uncover the deeper truth hidden within many alchemical manuscripts—that alchemy was a path of spiritual enlightenment. Hitchcock’s Remarks upon Alchemy and the Alchemists (1857) had clarified that the true subject of the alchemical process was the alchemist, who by engaging in the work begins a process of self-perfection: The work of the alchemist was one of contemplation and not a work of the hands.

12 The caption in the original explained that Stolas taught the art of astronomy and was also concerned with the properties of plants and the value of precious stones. This devil was an appropriate choice to inaugurate the essay, considering Ernst’s frequent use of astronomical and plant imagery within his work. Ernst also illustrated this passage with his natal horoscope (Fig. 13 The owl is connected to witchcraft, but other crowned animals found in alchemical illustrations indicate their royal nature and physical perfection.

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