Newsletter November 2012November 30, 2012
THE RITMAN LIBRARY NEWSLETTER – NOVEMBER 2012
VIRTUAL EXHIBITION TOUR | INFINITE FIRE
By library founder Joost R. Ritman
On 16 December 2011 the library that was closed a year before in 2010 re-opened its doors. With the exhibition ‘Infinite Fire’ we wanted to show that we wish to continue with our mission: to preserve the spiritual heritage of Western culture and make it available to everyone so as to support the spirit of social and spiriutal transformation. The theme of Infinite Fire is that of the divine source of infinite inspiration which runs through all that exists. It is as it were a living current of an inexhaustible force, a divine omnipresent heartbeat manifest in all life forms. From the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdom to the kingdom of man, everything that exists posseses a spark of this divine fire and carries within the key to open the way to the heart. Read more…
INFINITE FIRE WEBINAR II | THE EMBLEMATA OF THE ATALANTA FUGIENS
By Dr. P.J. Forshaw
Today, the second Infinite Fire Webinar is online featuring dr. Peter J. Forshaw, who shares with us his knowledge on Michael Maier (1568–1622), a Renaissance alchemist, composer, physician and counsellor to Habsburg Emperor Rudolf II . The webinar focusses in particular on Maier’s Atalanta Fugiens (1618), a multimedia work containing 50 engraved emblems visualizing the alchemical stages and including corresponding epigrams, discourses and musical symphonies ‘fugues’, which he composed himself. Read more…
Or watch the webinar directly on the Ritman Library Youtube channel.
EXHIBITIONMINI-SYMPOSIUM 19 NOVEMBER 2012 | ALCHEMY ON THE AMSTEL
Alchemy on the Amstel meets Leyden’s Luxuriance and the Bibliotheca Pharmacia. On 19 November some 65 people attended an afternoon devoted to 3 related exhibitions currently showing in Leiden and in Amsterdam. Ritman Library director & librarian Esther Oosterwijk-Ritman, who introduced the afternoon’s speakers, emphasized what she said in her preface to Alchemy on the Amstel, the guide to the exhibition: ‘The exhibitions in Leiden and in Amsterdam complement each other, and it is our hope that visitors to any of these 3 exhibitions may be inspired to visit the other two.’
Guest speakers from Museum Boerhaave and Leiden University, Annelore Scholten and Kasper van Ommen, took the audience on a wonderful and concise trip through the 2 exhibitions in Leiden: Leyden’s Luxuriance (Boerhaave) and Bibliotheca Pharmacia (University Library Leiden). The afternoon kicked off with a presentation by Dr. Peter J. Forshaw of the Center for the History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents at the University of Amsterdam. He explained the connections between early modern Alchemy and the Hermetic world view and offering breath-taking samples of alchemical imagery to a delighted public. Hester Albach, writer and biographer of Amsterdam’s own ‘chymical physician’ Theodor Kerckring, presented a dazzling talk on her subject, who was once a fellow student of Spinoza at the Latin school of Franciscus van den Enden. Joost Ritman, founder of the library, kept the audience waiting with baited breath to finally produce a truly beautiful 16th-century panel showing an alchemical ‘triumphant chariot’. The afternoon was concluded with a visual tour of some of the highlights in the exhibition by the exquisite Dr. Cis van Heertum, who curated the Alchemy on the Amstel exhibition. See more pictures at our Pinterest profile.
A guided tour in the library by exhibition curator Cis van Heertum will be offered on December 7th and January 11th at 14.30h. Reservations can be made at firstname.lastname@example.org. For next week’s tour a few places are still available.
‘Alchemy on the Amstel’ will be running from October 15 2012 through May 17 2013 in conjunction with Leyden’s Luxuriance, Green Discoveries in the Golden Age, on show in Museum Boerhaave from October 11 2012 through May 5 2013. ‘Alchemy on the Amstel’ and ‘Leyden’s Luxuriance’ run parallel to an exhibition about the history of Pharmacy on show in de Universiteitsbibliotheek Leiden from October 5 2012 through December 31 2012. The exhibition deals with rare books on botany, pharmacopeia and books on the Swiss physician and alchemist Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim or Paracelsus. The library will be closed from Friday 21 December 2012 untill Sunday 6 January 2013.
Het Parool, Thursday October 25 2012 by Henk Schutten
How successful they really were, the alchemists of the Dutch Republic, is still open to question. Only one of them, Johannes Fridericus Helvetius, claimed to have transmuted lead into gold. In December 1666 he allegedly received a visit in his home from a mysterious stranger, Elias Artista. The visitor handed him a fragment of the Philosopher’s Stone with which Helvetius managed to successfully carry out his experiment to the end. The stranger then disappeared, never to be heard of again. Helvetius originally came from Switzerland and settled in the Dutch Republic because of the prevailing freedom of religion. Johann Rudolph Glauber a German alchemist and apothecary, was also attracted to the Republic for the same reason. He owned a laboratory on Amsterdam’s Looiersgracht. Glauber, too, lived in hope of receiving a visit from the mysterious Elias Artista, who was looked upon as a divine messenger, a harbinger of a Golden Age in which the sciences would flourish. Glauber died of a professional disease, having poisoned himself in his laboratory. In his last years he was blind, paralyzed, and eventually went insane. He lies buried in Amsterdam’s Westerkerk. Read the full article.
A LIBERTINE MAN OF LETTERS ON SPINOZA : JEAN FRANCOIS DREUX DU RADIER
By Cis van Heertum
By Robert Collis
The reign of Peter the Great (1672-1725) was marked by an unprecedented wave of reform in Russia. This book provides an innovative reappraisal of the Petrine Age, in which hitherto neglected aspects of the tsar’s transformation of his country are studied. More specifically, the reforms enacted by the tsar are assessed in light of the religious notion of instauration – a belief in the restoration of Adamic knowledge in the last age – and a historical and cultural analysis of the impact of Western esotericism at the Russian court. This book will appeal to scholars of Russian history and religion, as well as being of wider interest to those studying Western esotericism in Early Modern and eighteenth-century Europe. The book is distributed by Brill. Robert Collis also wrote an article entitled: Alchemy and the Russian Nobility in Catherine the Great’s Russia. Read the full text on our website. Read more…
IN DE PELIKAAN PUBLISHING HOUSE
IN DE PELIKAAN WEBSTORE | RECENT ADDITIONS
The Ritman Library’s publishing house In de Pelikaan proudly presents an online webstore
including Paypal options. New this months are:
- Alchemy aan de Amstel/Alchemy on the Amstel: available in Dutch/English € 10,-
- Spinoza als gids voor een vrije wereld, Libertas philosophandi: available in Dutch € 15,-
- Alchemy aan de Amstel: Tentoonstellingsgids € 5,-
- Alchemy on the Amstel: Exhibition guide € 5,-
- Silent Language: available in English in the coming month
Also available are:
- Books published by In de Pelikaan such as: Hermes Trismegistus by Roelof van den Broek (2006) or Philosophia Symbolica: Johann Reuchlin and the Kabbalah by Cis van Heertum (2005).
- E-books compatible with a wide range of e-readers.
- Other now available: 7 postcards of images including envelopes from the Splendor Solis Series designed by artist Laurie Lipton visualizing the alchemical stages.
ALCHEMIE, DIE KÖNIGLICHE KUNST (2012)
For further information and possibilities please contact Mirjam Duivenvoorden, the chairman of the board of the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica Foundation, directly via email at email@example.com or give us a call on +31 20 625 8079.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE LIBRARY WILL BE CLOSED FROM FRIDAY DECEMBER 21th 2012 UNTIL MONDAY JANUARY 6th 2013
ADDRESS Bloemstraat 13-19, 1016 KV Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Telephone +31 20 625 8079
OPENING HOURS Monday-Friday, 10:00-12:30 and 13:30-17:00 For special request please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
ADMISSION FEE Day Pass € 5,- Annual Pass € 30,- Annual Student Pass € 17,50
GUIDED TOURS € 7,50 every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month Read more…
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