Alchemy on the Amstel
On Hermetic Medicine in the Golden Age of the Dutch Republic
Author: Cis van Heertum
A famous anatomist and ‘chymical’ physician lived on Keizersgracht in the 1660s, not far from the House with the Heads. His name was Theodor Kerckring, and he was only one of the alchemists practising in Amsterdam. Why were these medical men so determined to fathom the secrets of nature in their laboratories? In tandem with, Leydse Weelde, an exhibition on medicinal plants from the New World in Rijksmuseum Boerhaave in Leiden, the EFM’s Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica Collection highlighted the practice of iatrochemistry or chemical medicine in the Dutch Republic.
This illustrated bi-lingual exhibition catalogue (Dutch and English) highlights a number of printed books and manuscripts relating to iatrochemistry in the Dutch Republic. Antimony, an iatrochemical medicine both famous (among Paracelsians) and infamous (among Galenists) and Theodor Kerckring, ‘chymical’ physician and friend of Spinoza, featured largely in this exhibition, which was enriched with loans from private and institutional collections.
Keywords: alchemy, medicine, Paracelsus
Year of Publication: 2012
Number of pages: 132
Publisher: in de pelikaan
Book available: Softcover
Available in other languages: Dutch
File type: ePub