Alchemy and Rudolf II. Searching for the secrets of nature in Central Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries

Alchemy and Rudolf II. Searching for the secrets of nature in Central Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries

The publication, consisting of more than 700 pages, and edited by Ivo Purš from the Institute of Art History, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, and Vladimír Karpenko from the Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague, is the outcome of a project supported by the former Grant Agency of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in the years 2007-2009. In addition to the editors, a number of Czech and international specialists on Rudolfine issues contributed to the publication (Jarmila Hausenblasová, William Eamon, René Zandbergen, Rafał T. Prinke, Hiro Hirai, Alena Richterová, Jakub Hlaváček, Josef Smolka, Václav Bůžek, John A. Norris, and Pavel Drábek).

Attached file: anotace_Purs_Alchymie.pdf

It was not until the 1970s when a renewed interest in Mannerism and Rudolfine art led historians to examine other areas of Rudolfine culture, and therefore alchemy, too, which was a significant part of that culture.

This interest was naturally accompanied by historians looking at alchemy itself in a different way, no longer seeing it simply as a predecessor of modern chemistry – and thus as a subject reserved for the specialised history of science – and starting to study it as a complex and significant cultural-historical and social phenomenon connected with other disciplines, technologies, and areas of the life of society, including not only medicine, mining and metallurgy, but also religion, visual art, and the representation of the nobility.

First edition, in the Czech language, 574 colour and black-and-white illustrations, 840 pages, hardback, Praha 2011
ISBN 978-80-86890-33-3

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