News from our contributors

We are happy to share a new publication by Ivo Purš and Vladimír Karpenko:

Ivo Purš – Vladimír Karpenko (eds.), The Alchemical Laboratory in Visual and Written Sources, Academia Publishing, Prague, 2023, ISBN 978-80-200-3547-9, 576 pages, 505 colour illustrations

Alchemy was an experimental laboratory activity that involved numerous disciplines. It was practised over time and among various strata of society, ranging from artisans and burghers, physicians and clergy, to nobility and rulers. It was part of the natural sciences, but also included medicine, religion and the fine arts, which is why the study of its history requires an interdisciplinary approach.

This book analyses images of alchemical laboratories, and their textual sources, asthey appeared in manuscripts and printed alchemical treatises, especially during the Early Modern Period. It also integrates illustrations from treatises on mining, metallurgy, and seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish genre painting. This matter is analyzed within the wider context of contemporary depictions of scientific subjects and technology.

Based on a representative sample of sources, authors reconstruct the basic laboratory equipment and show how the vessels and apparatus were related to particular processes. They also describe the development of depicting laboratory equipment with respect to its significance for the history of art and of technology. The final part of the book is devoted to depictions of alchemists at work, from both alchemical sources and genre painting.

Ivo Purš, Ph.D. (1964) is a researcher at the Institute of Art History of the Czech Academy of Sciences. He focuses on the visual arts of late Renaissance and Mannerism, alchemical icono-graphy in the history of culture and science of the 16th and 17thcenturies, illustrations in early scientific literature, and on historical book collections. In 2004–2022, he was the principal investigatorin five grant projects of the Academy of Sciences and the Czech Science Foundation. He is the author of numerousstudies and co-author of several books.

Prof. Vladimír Karpenko (1942) is Professor Emeritus at the Faculty of Science of Charles University, Prague. His main interests are biophysical chemistry and the history of alchemy. In both of these areas, he has published numerous original scientificcontributions in international journals. He has also authored or co-authored numerous books and book chapters on the history of alchemy, and has co-authored a textbook on biophysical chemistry.

The book can be ordered at www.academiabooks.com