Adam McLean has a tantalizing post on the Alchemy Website suggesting that alchemical engravers might have encoded a geometrical message into their emblems. He takes the example of the 'Speculum Sophicum Rhodo-Stauroticum' of Theophilus Schweighardt, pointing to the "underlying geometric skeleton structure upon which the symbols are arrayed." He goes on to write,
"The evidence of these drawings certainly convinces me that there is another level to many of the emblematic engravings of this period that has yet been fully considered - the key of their inner geometry"
I have long been fascinated by the interesting geometries that show up in alchemical illustrations. I once made an image mapping the fibonaci spiral onto the Michael Maier "egg test" emblem, which I'll post as soon as I can dig up or duplicate. There is certainly a huge need for studies of these images that take into account the impact of geometrical planning on the visual project. What does this geometrical element do to the alchemical message? It resonates with neopythagorean potential. But I have not found much useful information on this topic, and I would love to hear anybody who's interested in alchemical geometry. I'm thinking as I finish this post that I need to read more Szulakowska.
Here are the images that McLean directs our attention toward
McLean wrote an interesting book on "The Alchemical Mandala" which is another great place to look for alchemical geometries. He certainly demonstrates how they can be used as mandalas, having selected many emblems that resonate perfectly with that sort of geometry.
Here are some of my favorite alchemical illustrations with interesting geometrical properties