Barbara Obrist - Visualization in Medieval Alchemy (946.0 Kb)

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This paper explores major trends in visualization of medieval theories of natural and artificial transformation of substances in relation to their philosophical and theological bases. The function of pictorial forms is analyzed in terms of the prevailing conceptions of science and methods of transmitting knowledge. The documents under examination date from the thirteenth to the fifteenth century. In these, pictorial representations include lists and tables, geometrical figures, depictions of furnaces and apparatus, and figur... More >>>Note that, unfortunately, not all my books can be downloaded or ordered on CD due to the restrictions of copyright. However, most of the books on this site do not have copyright restrictions. If you find any copyright violation, please contact me at . I am very attentive to the issue of copyright and try to avoid any violations, but on the other hand to help all fans of magic to get access to information.
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Category 1:  Alchemical Works
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Author:      Barbara Obrist
Format:      eBook
This paper explores major trends in visualization of medieval theories of natural and artificial transformation of substances in relation to their philosophical and theological bases. The function of pictorial forms is analyzed in terms of the prevailing conceptions of science and methods of transmitting knowledge. The documents under examination date from the thirteenth to the fifteenth century. In these, pictorial representations include lists and tables, geometrical figures, depictions of furnaces and apparatus, and figurative elements mainly from the vegetable and animal realms. An effort is made to trace the earliest evidence of these differing pictorial types.

About Author:

Barbara Obrist is Directeur de Recherche at CNRS and the University Paris Diderot - Paris 7, in the Laboratoire SPHERE (Science, Philosophie, Histoire-UMR 7219). She received her Ph.D. in Art History in Geneva (Les debuts de l'imagerie alchimique (14e-15e siecles), Paris: Le Sycomore, 1982) and first held a position in art history at CNRS in Strasbourg. She edited a thirteenth-century alchemical text (Constantine of Pisa: The Book of the Secrets of Alchemy. Critical Edition, Commentary, and Translation, Leiden: Brill, 1990) and turned to history of science and philosophy. Subsequently, early medieval cosmology (from the seventh to twelfth centuries) became her main area of research, including translations from the Arabic into Latin. She joined the Centre d'histoire des sciences et des philosophies arabes et medievales, CNRS - Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (Paris) in 1995 and has held her present position since 2009. She is at work on the second volume of a series, entitled A History of Twelfth-Century Cosmology.