The Hermetic Art of Robert Fludd

Art from 'De Naturae Simia' by Robert Fludd, ca. 1617-1619.

My buddy Eric Leonardson hipped me to these two wonderful posts at the breathtakingly great BibliOdyssey blog, which include a number of images of art by the great 17th century hermetic artist, scholar and scientist, Robert Fludd.

I’ve been a great fan of Fludd’s art since I first came across one of his most famous pieces, “The Mystery of the Human Head,” in a Dover edition of Grillot de Givry’s Witchcraft, Magic and Alchemy (originally Le Musée des sorciers, mages et alchemists, 1929). So much so that in the decades since I’ve used that particular piece for fliers, posters, and even as a company logo. And while perhaps I’ve not been looking in the right places, reproductions of Fludd’s work seem to be rare indeed.

Fortunately for me (and for you), the BibliOdyssey post includes a link to greyscale reproductions of Fludd’s entire magnum opus, Utriusque Cosmi Maioris Scilicet et Minores Metaphysica, Physica Atque Technica Historia, available for download as numerous zip files or a single mammoth 238mb PDF. These were scanned by Bill Heidrick from micofilm in the Bancroft collection at UC Berkeley, which “may be the only complete modern version available.”

Large cropped “color” repros (albeit edited) of De Naturae Simia, one of the books comprising the Utriusque Cosmi Majoris…, are available online from the J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah — albeit wrapped in iframes. Uncropped (but much smaller) photo repros of the same work are also online via the ECHO Project of the Max Planck Society in Berlin. That site offers some Ajax-y browsing tools of marginal utility, but my understanding is that online collection is unedited.

The BibliOdyssey posts also offer links to numerous worthwhile articles about Fludd and his work, as well as items of related interest.

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