Aureum Vellum Splendor Solis engraving number twenty is one of the most representatives of noisy packs of children romping around. As well as on multiplications.
Documents on Salomon Trismosin are scarce and legendary. Aureum Vellum is divided into treatises, and specifically, the third one, or Tractatus III, is entitled: Splendor Solis, mit schönen Figuren 1598, or Bright Sun with beautiful pictures.
Despite some rare colored late renaissance engravings, the artist has become unknown to us. To tell the real truth, superbly colored and probably painted, identical illustrations had already been around in some manuscripts since 1582 ( here produced in the third position).
When not engaged in outlandish partitions, Alchemy is the Art of multiplied operations. Multiplication is an operation subjected to the rule of three (an allegory may stand for at least three different concepts). It can be applied to processes required to repeat to “perfect” substances. Thus we have multiplications in Main Work as well as after.
But let’s examine the Splendor Solis 1598 picture now. This scene represents children’s pandemonium. It driving crazy situation for every person over 10. Nevertheless, mother, in red, black, and white, seems to take it calmly and relax. She knows well that her children are bound to live short. Only one, probably the grown-up boy looking after a toddler, is to remain at last. A female child, not so different in age from her brothers, is apart and kept out of the main scene. She acts like a little mother, apparently not participating in the amusement. A female infant not allowed to play because of her sex? No, things are more complex here. She is wearing red. And she is ready to merge into her black environment.
Above the mantelpiece on the door top, we notice two magnum bottles full of a transparent golden-yellowish liquid. These items are very important since they determine the room’s purpose. Toddlers play on a white parquet, while children mostly play on a dark platform. A place where, very probably, children are to disappear. One by one. Yes, because children are here scheduled to fade into something unexpected for a young new life: Putrefaction. But before that, they all must make their way to the red cushion. Then they are ready to turn into her little sister and, when coming to age, become a mother and give birth to a new son-brother since the female child is acting as the next mother.
Only one child will survive to grow up. And then he will decide what to do with his life: if remaining a white boy or developing into a red. Indeed, this Splendor Solis scene represents one of the varied Multiplication meanings: Rota (as we can see on the left), circle, or Ouroboros (1).
We are in Main Work (see an Opus Magnum scheme). On the left, we can grasp from Abraham the Jew that colors are to be repeated and will repeat by themselves. In this phase, alchemists do little to help Secret Fire/Mercurius replicate its falling into Putrefaction to reborn White again, then turning Red, to fall into Putrefaction again. Kamala Jnana and Arthepius’s (2) descriptions will support this multi-childbirth.
Two magnum bottles define the origin of all that. But before, let’s look at the liquid inside, resembling the golden color Mercurius Philosophorum in specific ways.
Indeed it is called Philosophers Gold or Azoth (3). Bottles are double or duplicated, and from now their name will be Mercurius Duplicatus (4). Furthermore, like in Marriages, Mercurius Duplicatus has children. Many whites and, consequently, many reds.
Red, generally known as Red Sulphur, regains the female gender in the Black and White phases. Then returning to the male gender in a new Red Sulphur. Which has to reach final perfection ( perfection in greek means complete). Mother/Man/Sulphur gives birth to new luminous white children.
After many multiplications of this real metamorphosis, we can count three toddlers, seven children, and a boy in a blue garment. He, the only one, will be entitled to live on. And, strangely enough, his gender is always uncertain: as a boy, he is Sulfur, but his looking is blue-white, so rather female. In a few words, we can stop Secret Fire Work to Silver/White Sulphur condition.
A black bird on the floor is lucky enough to be invisible to wild children. But it is not quiet. Indeed, its wings are ready to take off. We are in the Solve phase. It is hardly a crow, referring to the artist’s ability. But if a crow, it also does make sense. After all, we must cut heads off to allow white to appear from black.
We can pass now to Splendor Solis manuscript 1582 and notice some little differences. Anyway, not so insignificant: behind Mother, there is a green ceramic stove to warm the place. Fire is always in charge of warming. Fire is our Mercurius/Secret Fire, also responsible for cooking in Main Work. Someone argues that Secret Fire’s real color is green, while others say that children with White Sulphurs must die because they are unripe.
In front of mother, in the 1598 edition, it is easy to distinguish a basin, while in 1582, it rather seems to be a cradle. If a basin is full of dirty water, it is not so difficult to guess some washing practices at parturition. Nevertheless, one is allowed to ask before or after the birth event. Laton is washing in itself. A flask in a niche allows for a wet way.
As for the female child, we can notice that in the 1582 room background is luminous instead of dark. Well… when coming out of dark-putrefaction, she becomes bright and luminous.
Above is another edition of Splendor Solis. This time instead, running a late version of 1718. The picture is number twenty as well, as older ones are, but the represented scene is featured differently, lacking all their details. Three children holding toys or tools. And a bourn in the background. Too much an essential to be richly defined.
But how many multiplications have we to carry out to “perfect” our child? Three, ten, eleven, or twelve?
- See also Codex Marcianus Ouroboros , Cesare Ripa & the Hot Frozen Ouroboros World Machine ;
- See also Kamala Jnana, Introduction to a Live Secret , Artephius, Secret Book and Secret Fire ;
- See also Basilius Valentinus, Salt, Azoth or Philosophers Gold? ;
- See also Atalanta Fugiens and Mercurius Duplicatus ;