Liliana Leopardi: Art & Alchemy at the Uffizi

THE GREAT WORK Radio - Jesse Waugh - THE GREAT WORK

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Liliana Leopardi joins us for an update on the Art & Alchemy exhibition at the Uffizi which ended last month in Florence. Liliana goes over the themes touched upon in the Italian-language-only exhibition catalogue, and reveals the inner workings of Medici alchemical experimentation leading up to the Age of Enlightenment. Also discussed is the relation of alchemy and religion to human sacrifice, as well as the fascinating history of the Wunderkammer, or Cabinet of Curiosities.

Pictured below are images of an antique - probably 19th century - apothecary store front in Florence. The names of potions, concoctions and elixirs listed in facade panels relate to Liliana's revelation that Renaissance-era alchemical experimentation was not only concerned with transmutation of gold, and was not solely a proto-science, but was also the forerunner of pharmaceutical development.

19th Century Apothecary Storefront
Florence, Italy