Wednesday, September 3, 2014

‘Divine Wisdom-Divine Nature’

It’s too good to be true, but it is true. The Ritman Library is publishing a book for the quadricentennial celebration of the publication of the Rosicrucian Manifestoes that showcases the 17th century visual arts inspired by the founding literature of Rosicrucianism. From the publicity:

Divine Wisdom – Divine Nature

This lavishly illustrated work, published on the occasion of the fourth centenary of the Rosicrucian Manifestoes in 2014-16, focuses on an extraordinary range of images that appeared in Germany in the early 17th century.

The illustrations partly originated in a circle of artists and thinkers who were directly inspired by the Rosicrucian Manifestoes and also by similar sources expressing the relationship between God and Nature, the macrocosm and the microcosm.

The images were included in the works of several authors: Heinrich Khunrath, Daniel Mögling, Stephan Michelspacher, Robert Fludd, and Michael Maier. The books themselves were published in various cities in Germany: Hanau, Frankfurt, Augsburg, and Oppenheim. It is probably no coincidence that the majority of the works came out in the years 1616-18, after the publication of the Rosicrucian Manifestoes.

Divine Wisdom – Divine Nature opens with a general introductory part on the people behind the Rosicrucian Manifestoes and continues with a discussion of the images in the works of these five authors, at least four of who claimed allegiance to the ideals and aspirations of the Rosicrucian Brotherhood.

The book will be available in both English and German. Price: €30,00. No release date has been announced yet.

Click here to read Esther Ritman’s preface.

Of course the library will host an exhibition to complement the book. If you’re lucky enough to be in the neighborhood this week, do stop by. From the publicity:

This exhibition of the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica examines the visual imagery that can be associated with the Rosicrucian Manifestoes. Never before was such complex imagery used to explore the relationship between God, Nature and Man. In this anniversary year, 400 years after the publication of the Fama Fraternitatis, the BPH once more returns to the sources to investigate the Rosicrucian phenomenon that is both characteristic of the atmosphere of expectancy in the early 17th century (“Europe is pregnant and about to bear a powerful child”) and typical of the continued appreciation of the Hermetic tradition.

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