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"Among all the arts, it is the art of alchemy which most closely imitates nature."
- Albertus Magnus (teacher of St. Thomas Aquinas), ca. 1250

Alchemists are notorious for attempting to synthesize gold. Their goals, however, were far more ambitious: to transform and bend nature to the will of an industrious human imagination. For scientists, philosophers, and artists alike, alchemy seemed to hold the key to unlocking the secrets of creation. Alchemists' efforts to discover the way the world is made have had an enduring impact on global artistic practice and expression.

Brafman’s book is the first to explore how the art of alchemy globally transformed human creative culture from the ancient world to the modern scientific age, and displays the ways its legacy still permeates the world we make today.