chapter  10
13 Pages

Appreciating the mystery of relationship

The twenty-second and final painting of the great alchemical work, the Splendor Solis, depicts a mythical scene which symbolizes the essence of the alchemical understanding of transformation both individually and in relationships (Figure 31). Dominating the painting is the image of the setting sun, looking to its left with a sober and mature expression. The painting’s foreground contains both the burned and broken trees of a devastated landscape and the new growth of emerging plant life. In the background of the painting is a celestial city elevated on a hill with a soaring steeple arising from the cluster of buildings. In front of the city is a lake with a solitary house on the left shore. The lake forms into a stream which flows to the painting’s foreground. This painting contains many elements symbolic of a transformed consciousness.