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Chart of cosmic elements, 1657.

Chart of cosmic elements, 1657.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 21cm x 32cm


Woodcut. Annibal Barlet proposed a number of cosmological arguments that included elements of alchemy and astrology. This is the third example and shows the convergence of elements, humours, and geocosmic factors in the thinking of Paracelsian alchemists. Illustration from Barlet's 'Le Vray et Methodique Cours de la Physique Resolutive Vulgairement dite Chymie' ('The True and Methodical Course in Resolutive Physick, Commonly called Chemistry'), 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 (1620-1706) amongst others.

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© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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