Allegorical intepretation of the invention of gunpowder, showing the devil on the shoulder of a monk involved in an experiment. It is thought that the artist intended the monk in the picture to be Berthold Schwarz, a semi-legendary German Franciscan monk. Schwarz was a nickname (German for 'black') due to Berthold's chemical experiments. The picture is an alchemical engraving.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library