Coloured Alchemical Emblems|
This present volume brings together 236 of the single emblems found as frontispieces, engraved title pages or individual images in alchemical books to illustrate a particular point the author was making. It is thus a primary sourcebook on alchemical imagery.
I first became aware of alchemical symbolism in the 1960’s. At that time little source material was accessible to me apart from illustrations in the very few books then available. I became aware that there were many complex series of alchemical emblems, but it was frustrating that usually it was only possible to see a couple or so images from these. I tried to get others interested in this material through running a series of workshops, but was dismayed to find that people were just not interested in black and white woodcuts and engravings. This was a medium that seemed not to engage people. To most viewers these appeared old and obscure and despite my enthusiasm I often met a blank response.
I decided to begin colouring these images by painting them in watercolours. Through my research I had seen many of the original manuscripts with hand coloured drawings and I decided to mimic this in my colouring scheme. Thus I kept to a subtle naturalistic approach, blending and merging the colours. I immediately found that people became interested in the imagery and could then see much of the little details hidden away in the cross-hatched shading of engravings once these were sensitively coloured. Over the last fifteen years I have created nearly 1200 coloured images. I have used many of these in my study courses on alchemical symbolism, in my books, audio visual presentations and made them available to people in the form of prints.