Splendor Solis

Splendor Solis is a renowned illuminated manuscript on alchemy, dating back to the 16th century. This magnificent work showcases a collection of symbolic illustrations accompanied by descriptive texts, delving into the depths of alchemical wisdom and spiritual transformation. The vibrant and intricate illuminations captivate the viewer, depicting various stages of the alchemical process and the symbolic journey of the soul.

The relevance of Splendor Solis to Carl Gustav Jung, the renowned Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, lies in his exploration of alchemy as a psychological framework. Jung considered alchemy not merely as a primitive precursor to modern chemistry but as a profound symbolic language of the unconscious. He recognized the alchemical motifs and symbols as expressions of the individuation process, the transformation and integration of the psyche. Splendor Solis, with its rich symbolism and profound allegories, resonated with Jung’s understanding of the archetypal imagery and the transformative nature of the human psyche, contributing to his theories on analytical psychology.

The manuscript was traditionally attributed to Salomon Trismosin, the alleged teacher of Paracelsus, but the real author remains unknown. Twenty copies of the manuscript exist worldwide. The earliest version, dated 1532–1535, is housed at the Kupferstichkabinett (Museum of Prints and Drawings) at State Museums in Berlin. The present copy, made in 1582, is held by the British Library, London.

The images are copyright free but are made available by Palatino Press and the British Library.

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