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Musaeum Hermeticum 6: Dragon

from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Musaeum_Hermeticum_1678_p_353_Dragon_0049.JPG

and https://archive.org/details/musaeumhermeticu00meri

Artist Merian, Matthaeus, 1593-1650
Author Lambsprinck
Title Sexta Figura
Description
English: “Sexta Figura” (Figure Six), engraved by Matthaeus Merian (1593–1650). Figure 6 from Lambsprinck's De Lapide Philosophico [On the Philosophers' Stone] as published in the Musaeum hermeticum, reformatum et amplificatum. Francofurti : Apud Hermannum à Sande, 1678. In Latin.

Hoc vere est magnum miraculum & cita fraus / In venenoso Dracone summam medicinam inesse.

SEXTA FIGURA.

Mercurius recte & chymice præcipitatus vel sublimatus, in sua propria Aqua resolutus & rursum coagulatus.

That is to say, "Mercury rightly precipitated or sublimated in its own water, dissolved and again coagulated."

A serpent or dragon bites its tail, symbolizing mercury. The ouroborous is one of the oldest alchemical symbols. Allegorical descriptions that required decoding by the practitioner had always been part of alchemical communication. Medieval alchemy in the West added visual imagery to that long tradition.
Date
Medium engraving
 
Accession number QD25 .M87315 1678, Roy G. Neville Historical Chemical Library, Chemical Heritage Foundation.
Notes Image downloaded with permission from the Chemical Heritage Foundation, as part of the Wikipedian in Residence initiative.
Source/Photographer Chemical Heritage Foundation
Permission
(Reusing this file)
  This file was provided to Wikimedia Commons by the Chemical Heritage Foundation as part of a cooperation project.

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