Srebrenka Bogović Zeskoski
Puni tekst: engleski, hrvatski sažetak, PDF
The aim of this study is to establish the relationship of alchemical practices regarding the fabrication of materials made available to artists during the medieval and the early Renaissance periods. Cennino Cennini (Il libro dell’arte, c. 1400) asserted that some basic pigments were “made by alchemy”, his claim is relevant to my recent collaboration with the Croatian Conservation Institute on their publication Tajne o bojama (Segreti per colori) in which the authors consulted, for clarification of ancient recipes, Alkemija (by academician Drago Grdenić), the first work of its kind written in Croatian. In addition, a specific recipe published in an earlier manuscript of the 12th century, ascribed to monk Theophilus (1070–1125), will be examined as an illustration of alchemical writings deemed in most older literature to be incoherent text. Unintelligible texts encountered in old treatises deserve to be reconsidered within their historical context and, once deciphered, may reveal themselves to be viable recipes. Finally, alchemy’s low esteem among scholars, especially scientists, merits a lengthier introduction and clarification.
alchemy, pigments, laboratory equipment, Theophilus, Cennino Cennin, Trismegistus