Frontispiece of an alchemy book, 1657.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Woodcut showing the title within a decorative frame surmounted by four putti, two of them holding vegetables. Below, two alchemists are reading from books, surrounded by various pieces of laboratory apparatus. Illustration from 'Le Vray et Methodique Cours de la Physique Resolutive Vulgairement dite Chymie' ('The True and Methodical Course in Resolutive Physick, Commonly called Chemistry'), by Annibal Barlet, published in Paris in 1657. Although the book contains a great deal of alchemical jargon, it is for the most part good practical pharmaceutical chemistry. Barlet gave regular chemical courses in Paris, attended by the diarist John Evelyn amongst others.