Alchemists were notorious for attempting to make synthetic gold, but their goals were far more ambitious: to transform and bend nature to the will of an industrious human imagination. For scientists, philosophers, and artists alike, alchemy seemed to hold the key to unlocking the secrets of creation. Alchemists’ efforts to discover the way the world is made have had an enduring impact on artistic practice and expression around the globe. This colloquium will explore how the mysterious art of alchemy transformed visual culture from antiquity to the industrial age and the ways in which its legacy still permeates the world we make today.
Video 1 of 4:
- Introductory remarks by David Brafman.
- The Graeco-Egyptian Origins of Alchemy: Chromatic Transformations in the Byzantine and Syriac Traditions by Matteo Martelli.
- Ṣināʿat al-Iksīr – The Art of the Elixir: Alchemical Ideas and Practices in the Arabo Islamic world” by Gabriele Ferrario.