1617: Atalanta Fugiens

Matthias Merian - Boreas - Atalanta Fugiens (1616) - detail

Matthias Merian - Boreas - Atalanta Fugiens (1616)Michael Maier’s Atalanta Fugiens is an alchemical “emblem book” consisting of 50 illustrations by Matthias Merian, each of which is accompanied by a epigrammatic verse, a philosophical discourse, and a musical fugue.

This first emblem shows Boreas, the North Wind, pregnant with a symbolic embryo of which Maier, in his commentary, says: “Chymically it is Sulphur….Arithmetically it is the Root of a Cube; Musically it is the Disdiapason; Geometrically it is a point, the beginning of a continued running line; Astronomically it is the Center of the Planets Saturn, Jupiter & Mars.” The complete work can be found here.

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