Aureum Vellum Splendor Solis engraving number twenty is one of the most representative on noisy packs of children romping around. As well as on multiplications.
Documents on Salomon Trismosin are scarce and legendary. “Aureum Vellum” is divided in treatises and specifically the third one, or Tractatus III, is entitled: “Splendor Solis, mit schönen Figuren” 1598, or Bright Sun with beautiful pictures.
Despite their being some very rare colored late renaissance engravings, artist has come unknown to us. To tell the real truth, superbly colored , and probably painted, quite identical illustrations had been already 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 rule of three (an allegory may stands for at least three different concepts). It can be applied to processes required to repeat in order to “perfect” substances. Thus we have multiplications in Main Work as well as after.
But let’s examine “Splendor Solis” 1598 picture, now. This scene represents a children pandemonium. A driving crazy situation for every person over 10. Nevertheless mother, in red, black and white, seems to take it calmly and relaxed. In fact 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 apparently kept out of the main scene. She is acting as a little mother, apparently not taking part to the amusement. A female infant not allowed to play because of her sex? No, things are here more complex. In fact she is wearing red. And she is ready to merge in her black environment.
Above the sort of mantelpiece on the door top, we can clearly notice two magnum bottles full of a transparent golden-yellowish liquid. These items are very important, since they determine the room purpose. Toddlers are playing on a white parquet, while children are mostly on a kind of 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 have to make their way to the red cushion. Then they are ready to turn into her little sister and, when come to age, becoming a mother and giving birth to a new son-brother. Since female child is here acting as a next mother.
Only one child, in fact, will survive to grow up. And then will decide what to do of his life: if remaining a white boy or developing into red. Indeed, this Splendor Solis scene represents one of varied Multiplication meanings: Rota (as we can see on the left), or 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, as a matter of fact, colors are going to repeat by themselves. In this phase alchemists do little to help Secret Fire/Mercurius replicating its falling into Putrefaction to reborn White again, then turning Red, to fall into Putrefaction again. Kamala Jnana and Arthepius (2) descriptions will give support to this multi childbirth.
Two magnum bottles define the origin of all that. But before, let’s have a look to the liquid inside: very resembling to golden color Mercurius Philosophorum in certain 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 female gender in Black and White phases. To then returning into 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 Sulphur, 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 ability. But if a crow, it also does make sense. After all we have to 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 for warming. Fire is our Mercurius/Secret Fire, also responsible for cooking in Main Work. Someone argues that Secret Fire real color is green, others that children White Sulphurs have to die because of their being unripe.
In front of mother, in 1598 edition, it is easy to distinguish a basin, while in 1582 it rather seems being a cradle. If a basin, full of dirty water, it is not so difficult to guess some washing practice at parturition. Nevertheless one is allowed to ask if before or after birth event. Laton is a washing in itself. A flask in a niche allows for wet way.
As for female child, we can notice that in 1582 room background is luminous instead of dark. Well…..when coming out of dark-putrefaction she becomes bright luminous.
On the left another edition of “Splendor Solis”. This time a rather running late version of 1718. Picture is number twenty as well, as older ones are, but represented scene is featuring totally different, 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 for “perfecting” 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 ;