Sunday, January 20, 2008

Great Painted Hermes

I was in the local bookstore yesterday and managed to find a little book (I say little, it's somewhat larger than a CD case, but is a girthful 575 pages long) called Alchemy and Mysticism, by Alexander Roob.

Here is the book description from Amazon.com:
A fantastic journey through the history of esoteric lore: the great work of the alchemists (TASCHEN's 25th anniversary - Special edition) The Hermetic Museum takes its readers on a magical mystery tour spanning an arc from the mediaeval cosmogram and images of Christian mysticism, through the fascinating world of alchemy to the art of the Romantic era. The enigmatic hieroglyphs of cabbalists, Rosicrucians and freemasons are shown to be closely linked with the early scientific illustrations in the fields of medicine, chemistry, optics and colour theory. The author: Alexander Roob studied painting at the University of Fine Arts, Berlin. From 2000 to 2002, he was a professor at the University of Fine Arts, Hamburg. He has been teaching at the Academy of Fine Arts, Stuttgart since 2002.
It's quite a jewel, I think. I found it in/around the clearance shelf. The title originally caught my eye, but then I had an inner moment of quiet squealing when I realized that it was an art book, filled with intriguing hermetic works (with informative captions) and related material. It does actually contain a lot of information regarding the Hermetic, mostly as it relates to the artwork, but is largely a "surface-scratcher", so to speak. Something that also caught my eye were the inclusion of works by William Blake, which is a fact that might stir the interest of any modern Gnostic.

All things considered, I am glad I found it.

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