Magnum Opus Hermetic Sourceworks Series
This series of limited edition hand-bound books by Adam McLean were initially produced between 1979 and 1986. They were never sold through book dealers, but only by direct mail order. Consequently, these books became collectors items, often fetching high prices on the second-hand market. Only a few copies remain of some of the older titles in this series and a number are now entirely sold out. Since 1997 thirty new titles have been issued with more in preparation.
No. 35. The Solidonius Manuscript
Translated by Vincent Matley
With an Introduction by Adam McLean
The Solidonius series of eighteen watercolour emblems is an obscure alchemical work existing in at least sixteen manuscripts. It dates back to 1541, but the early version was rediscovered and reworked during the 18th century revival of interest in alchemical works in France. At the core of the emblem sequence is a strange meeting and merging of two figures. In other alchemical works, such as the Rosarium philosophorum, which is in fact contemporary with the early version of the Solidonius, this occurs through the figure of a hermaphrodite. Here we do have a meeting of male and female figures, but also a conjoining of two male figures. The idea being presented is the fusion of two polarised components. The work also incorporates the conventional sequence of alchemical colour changes.
The text has been translated by Vincent Matley from the 18th century French version. It comments closely on the symbolism of the emblem sequence. The images have all been recreated in oil paintings by Adam McLean, which are facsimilies correcting the faded 18th century versions.
Limited edition of 100 signed and numbered hardbound copies. 18 coloured emblems. A5. 60 pages.