Woodcut with period coloring of an alchemical design , Frankfurt, 1550.
Fine art replica giclée print © 2022 Allen Bjorkman
Matted Image Dimensions: 6 x 6 inches
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In Greek mythology, Hermaphroditus (the son of Hermes and Aphrodite) was bathing in a fountain when he was united with the nymph Salmacis. The two became a single being, both male and female. In Alchemy, this pairing of opposites symbolizes the mystical Philosopher’s stone, or Rebis, upon which stands this androgynous King of Philosophy. The Alchemist is also the symbolic child of the Moon and the Sun. The Pelican is depicted, which was thought to feed its young with the blood of its own breast (the Alchemical concept of self-regeneration). Serpents were associated with Mercury, or Quicksilver.