Salvador Dalí

Alchimie des Philosophes, book with mercury dial

c1975
leather-bound volume with mercury dial
Inventory number 835
Alchemy is an ancient philosophical tradition, associated with purification. It is believed that alchemists sought to purify base materials into gold whilst practicing spiritual exercises to purify the human soul to reach perfection. Dalí was obsessed with the principles of transformation and mystical practices. 

Dalí created 275 copies of the artist book Alchimie des Philosophes, each containing 10 artworks representing distinct alchemical themes. Several copies are written in French and English, and the others are written in French and Italian. 

The leather-bound volume of Alchimie des Philosophes is embellished with a dial on the front cover, which contains mercury.