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    • Goodness, poverty, middle age, youth. Who makes of it misfortune or happiness.
    • 1760 – 1800

    This etching by Francesco Pedro, for Nicollo Cavalli of Venice, reproduces a painting by Francesco Maggiotto. The scene shows four individuals in a humble workroom, gathered around a brazier full of coals. The central…

    • circa 1751 – 1772

    Hand-colored engraving from the "Chimie" section of Volume 3 of the Recueil de planches, sur les sciences, les arts libéraux, et les arts méchaniques, avec leur explication, which consisted of illustrated plates to…

  1. An engraving of Swiss physician and alchemist Paracelsus (born Theophrastus von Hohenheim) wearing a small medal around his neck.

    • The Gold Weigher
    • circa 1760 – 1790

    This print, after a 1639 etching by Rembrandt, shows a well-dressed man of middle age seated before a pair of scales and an open ledger. He hands his young assistant a bag as customers stand waiting nearby. The scene is…

    • The Committee of the French Exhibition in Copenhagen in 1888
    • 1888

    An etching by Felix Jasiński after the painting by P.S. Krøyer for the Gazette des Beaux-Arts, a French art review. The etching depicts members of the committee that organized the French Art Exhibition in Copenhagen in…

    • 1875

    An etching of a chemist watching over a distillation process. The apparatus being used includes a gas-fueled bunsen burner at far left heating liquids in glass retorts. The products of the distillation are being…

    • 1748

    The full text above and below the image of this print reads, "The First Lecture in Experimental Philosophy. / Engraved for the Universal Magazine, for J. Hinton at the King's Arms in St. Paul's Church-Yard London.…

    • 1800s

    This engraving shows Dutch mathematician and physicist Jean Henri van Swinden (1746–1823) demonstrating the generation of electricity to the Felix Meritis Society in Amsterdam. The Felix Meritis Society was founded in…

    • The Reconquered Malmantile
    • 1731

    This image appeared as the frontispiece to Lorenzo Lippi's posthumously published comic-heroic poem, "Il Malmantile Racquistato." The work was first released in 1676 under the pseudonym "Perlone Zipoli," an anagram of…

    • circa 1760 – 1786

    This print, engraved by Jean Jacques Le Veau after a painting by Marie-Marc-Antoine Bilcoq, shows a bearded alchemist examining a flask in the warm light of an unseen window. In a humble chamber behind a wooden…

    • circa 1719 – 1804

    This engraving, by John Boydell, reproduces a lively scene of alchemists at work, after the painting "The Village Alchemist" by Jan Steen (early 1660s) in the Wallace Collection in London. Two men crowd around a third,…

    • The Puffer
    • 1744

    This engraving by François Bernard Lépicié reproduces the painting by Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin. A young man in a fur-trimmed cap and robe sits reading, surrounded by books and glassware. On the shelf above sit…

    • The Critical Moment
    • circa 1723 – 1797

    This print reproduces a scene originally painted by David Teniers, in a strongly tenebrist manner, showing the alchemist in a shadowed room beneath the light of a single window. Engaged in reading, the alchemist may be…

    • circa 1660 – 1704

    An alchemist in a calf-length robe holds up a book in one hand, reading with close attention as he stirs a substance in a small crucible. The tabletop beside him is littered with glassware and distillation vessels. In a…

    • 1493

    A scene from the two-sided folio from Hartmann Schedel's The Book of Chronicles, or in German Das Buch der Chroniken (1493), depicting God creating Adam from clay. This clay is interpreted alchemically as the "prima…

    • 1493

    A two-sided folio from Hartmann Schedel's The Book of Chronicles, or in German Das Buch der Chroniken (1493). On the recto is a text block on top and an image below depicting God creating Adam from clay. This clay is…

  2. This etching, after a print by Balthasar Moncornet, in turn after a drawing by Rembrandt, claims to display a portrait of the French manuscript seller Nicolas Flamel (1330-1418). Flamel, along with his wife Perenelle,…

    • The Anatomist
    • 1779

    This etching by Anton Joseph von Prenner reproduces a painting by the German painter Christopher Paudiss, known as Baudiz. Working by the glow of candlelight, a seated man studies an anatomical text at a desk…

    • circa 1584

    This representation of the ancient Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras, who was greatly revered in the Renaissance era, comes from chapter 25 of the publication Les vrais pourtraits et vies des hommes…

    • circa 1584

    This wood engraving portrays Albertus Magnus (1193?-1280), also known as Saint Albert the Great and Albert of Cologne, who was a German Dominican friar and Catholic bishop. The inscription "Albert Le Grand Evesque de…

    • Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa
    • circa 1584

    This depiction of German polymath, physician, legal scholar, soldier, theologian, and occult writer Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim (1486–1535) comes from chapter 107 of the publication Les vrais pourtraits et…

    • 1567

    This "Rosicrucian" woodcut portrait of the Swiss-German physician and alchemist Aureolus Philippus Theophrastus—better known as Paracelsus—appeared as the frontispiece to a posthumous 1567 edition of his works titled Ph…

    • circa 1771

    This etching reproduces in reverse a painting in the Hermitage Museum which has been attributed to Gerrit Dou. Through an illusionistic stone archway draped with an embroidered curtain, we see a finely-dressed physician…

    • 1796

    A portrait of a seated Matthew Boulton (1728–1809), a British industrialist and entrepreneur. He is seated in front of a window, holding a magnifying glass and a coin. In the background is a large building.

  3. Mezzotint of a portrait bust of the Irish chemist Robert Boyle (1627–1691) in an arched niche.