on 12 February 1999
This book represents one of the greatest collections of alchemical and occult art ever to appear in print. Beautifully produced to Taschen's usual high standard, the majority of the illustrations are in full colour and are culled from collections all over the world. The only slight quibble may be its size - octavo (A5ish), but at this price it represents amazing value. Useful index.
on 21 January 2006
This book is a great source book - perhaps not for those who are only just starting to learn about alchemy, because the plates are not given a thorough explanation as to the meaning behind the diagrams and the text. However, for those who have been reading on the subject for a while and are prepared to sit with latin, french, german, and hebrew dictionaries, or travel to where the original texts are available for viewing in the flesh, the book is a very good start. Covers a wide range of subjects pertinant to alchemy with just enough text to make the mercurial mind begin to run...
on 12 August 2014
I'm interested in the symbolism used to illustrate alchemical texts. Many books on alchemy reproduce odd plates from key texts, which whetted my appetite to find out more. This book is extensively illustrated, and arranged by themes, and went a long way to satisfy my interest. The author draws connections with William Blake's thinking and illustrations, as well as masonic and Asian sources. You'd probably want to have a basic background knowledge first, but to me it was an economic way of accessing a lot of the art around alchemy. "Mysticism" in the title I felt a bit misleading: it was more about esoteric world views.