The Beautiful Inscrutable: Khunrath’s Fabulous Alchemical Exploratorium, ca. 1600

Some beautiful images here, and lots of helpful links

“While these Discontents continued, severall Letters past between Queene Elizabeth and Doctor Dee, whereby perhaps he might promise to returne; At length it so fell out, that he left Trebona and took his Iourney for England. The ninth of Aprill he came to Breame… Here that famous Hermetique Philosopher, Dr Henricus Khunrath of Hamburgh came to visit him.” – Elias Ashmole, Theatrum Chemicum Brittanicum, (London, 1652), cited in Frances Yates’ The Rosicrucian Enlightenment


10 thoughts on “The Beautiful Inscrutable: Khunrath’s Fabulous Alchemical Exploratorium, ca. 1600

  1. I’ve just turned to my copy and Page 103 is Robert Fludd’s Utriusque Cosmi, but Khunrath is featured on quite a few pages – for example, the cosmological depiction of the alchemistical work in the form of an eyeball is on my page 115. I think my copy is 1997 but I’m not certain! My version has 711 pages.. that said, I’m sure we could still manage to discuss the content even though our copies are different! 🙂 I was very fortunate in that a friend gave it to me some years ago, saying they’d bought it on a whim and they thought it was hi fallutin nonsense so I’d probably like it! 🙂


  2. No, I’m wrong, illustration from Khunrath’s ‘Amphitheatrum sapientiae aeterna’ is in fact reproduced on p. 103 of the 2006 Roob edition. I’ve used this source-book on several occasions for posts (Diana and Actaeon, Nigredo ,Putrefication etc). Happy to discuss this book any time and like the Philosopher’s Stone, it’s both cheap and valuable to acquire!


  3. Thanks for that info Kevin – you saved me a few hours looking for the images! I love that book, and if I had to get rid of all of my books and keep only one, that would be it 🙂


  4. Many hours spent contemplating that generous treasure-chest source book of alchemical imagery. Don’t remember this image reproduced there , it’s usually the image of the alchemist in lab of Khunrath’s which is frequently reproduced.


  5. I thought of getting it, but there are at least 5 versions, some crap (100 pages), and the price ($120 on amazon)
    looks great online though!

    Cheers, Otove



  6. no, but I was wondering if they are featured in the Hermetic Press’ Alchemy and Mysticism:by Alexander Roob which I DO have – I haven’t had a chance to look yet


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