Poster of the virgin Sophia
This evocative image of Sophia or Wisdom describes her as ‘the heavenly and earthly Eve, the mother of all creatures in heaven and on earth’. It is a very positive description, as Eve usually had quite a bad press in the history of Christianity. There are many references to the Old and the New Testament, but the lower part of the image, with its small globes circling around a central globe inscribed with the word ‘Chaos’, is purely alchemical. To us, ‘chaos’ sounds alarming, but to alchemists it represented the primal form or matter that was full of potential and with which they could work in their laboratories. The crown worn by Sophia is characteristically topped by the symbol for the Philosopher’s Stone: ‘Der Stein der Weisen’, as we read left and right to the symbol in red.
Illustration from: Geheime Figuren der Rosenkreuzer. Manuscript, before 1785.
Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica Collection | Embassy of the Free Mind, Amsterdam
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Size: 50 x 70 cm