Author: Eva

Clavis Artis, Zoroaster

Zoroaster’s Clavis Artis, a mysterious alchemical manuscript

Clavis Artis is the title of an alchemical manuscript published in Germany in three volumes in the late 17th or early 18th century, attributed to Zoroaster (Zarathustra). It features numerous watercolor illustrations depicting alchemical images, as well as pen drawings of laboratory instruments. Three copies of the manuscript are known to exist, one at the Biblioteca […]

A naturalist's rambles on the Devonshire coast, Philip Henry Gose, London: John Van Voorst, 1853

“A naturalist’s rambles on the Devonshire coast”

These illustrations are from a book by Philip Henry Gosse (1810–1888), the literal inventor of the (saltwater) aquarium. The book, titled A naturalist’s rambles on the Devonshire coast, is available for download at the Biodiversity Heritage Library. It was published in London in 1853. Source: Biodiversity Heritage Library / BioDiv Flickr License: CC BY 2.0

Robert Fludd's "Utriusque Cosmi...", 1617–24

Robert Fludd’s “Utriusque Cosmi…”, 1617–24

Robert Fludd (1574-1637) was an English physician, astrologer, mathematician, and mystic. His opus magnum, Utriusque cosmi maioris scilicet et minoris metaphysica, physica atqve technica historia, was published in two volumes between 1617 and 1624. The encyclopedic book covers different subjects such as optics, music, perspective drawing, engineering, as well as Rosicrucianist themes, theosophy and the Qabalah. Read more […]

NASA: Butterfly Emerges from Stellar Demise in Planetary Nebula NGC 6302

I HEART HUBBLE: Stellar Demise

“Butterfly Emerges from Stellar Demise in Planetary Nebula NGC 6302”: This celestial object looks like a delicate butterfly. But it is far from serene. What resemble dainty butterfly wings are actually roiling cauldrons of gas heated to more than 36,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The gas is tearing across space at more than 600,000 miles an hour—fast […]

Atlas ichthylogique, Pieter Bleeker, 1862 (Indonesian Fish Atlas)

Fabulous Fish by Pieter Bleeker (Atlas Ichthylogique)

These illustrations are from a beautiful book about the various fish species in Indonesia, written by Dutch physician and ichthylogist Pieter Bleeker (1819–1878) under the title Atlas ichthyologique des Indes orientales néêrlandaises : publié sous les auspices du gouvernement colonial néêrlandais (Amsterdam, 1862). The Biodiversity Library identifies the book in the public domain. The PDF is available […]

Planetary Nebula MyCn18: An Hourglass Pattern Around a Dying Star

I HEART HUBBLE: Hourglass Nebula

“Planetary Nebula MyCn18: An Hourglass Pattern Around a Dying Star”: JANUARY 16, 1996: This Hubble telescope snapshot of MyCn18, a young planetary nebula, reveals that the object has an hourglass shape with an intricate pattern of “etchings” in its walls. A planetary nebula is the glowing relic of a dying, Sun-like star. The results are […]

Cyprianus, Uricus and Paymon, from Clavis Inferni..., Late 18th Century

Cyprianus aka The Black Book

These illustrations are from a late 18th century book about magic, the Clavis Inferni sive magia alba et nigra approbata Metratona by M. L. Cyprianus. There is not much information available about the book or author, but the writer of the Res Obscura blog suggests the author might actually be St. Cyprian. The official captions state, Cyprianus is also […]

William Sharp, Victoria regia, in: by John Fisk Allen's "Victoria Regia"... (1854)

Victoria regia, The Great Water Lily of America

The Flickr Page of the Biodiversity Heritage Library is a great resource for finding beautiful zoological and botanical illustrations. These water-lillies, for instance, were illustrated by William Sharp (1803–1875) and published in a book called Victoria regia, or, The great water lily of America written by John Fisk Allen (Boston, 1854). The genus, victoria, was named by English botanist […]