Alchemy at the Medici Court: A Talk in English


Wednesday, February 28: Laura Amato will speak on “Alchemy and Hermetism (a Philosophical System) at the Medici Court.”  CEA CAPA Study Center, via Pandolfini 20.  6:30 pm.  Free admission.  Reservation necessay: rsvp to

As in many Renaissance European courts, the ruling Medici family practiced alchemy and proto-science. The Tuscan Grand Dukes’ interest in alchemy was not only for purposes of practical experimentation but was particularly focused on the philosophical and exoteric alchemical tradition. This lecture will trace the connection of the Medici and alchemy back to Cosimo il Vecchio, the family patriarch, who introduced 15th century Florence to this Eastern, exoteric culture. As the Medici consolidated power over the centuries, a crescendo of studies aimed to rediscover ancient pagan wisdom. With Medici patronage, these alchemical studies blossomed most in Florence, making this city one of the most important centers of alchemical culture in the modern age.

Laura Amato holds a Ph.D in Modern History from the University of Padua. She teaches History courses in local Florentine branches of US Universities, and has designed and led tours on behalf of the Alchemic Society of Florence on topics related to the esoteric symbolism in the art and architecture of Florence. Recently, on behalf of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Overseas Building Operations, Laura researched the history of Palazzo Canevaro, the building that is the property of the U.S. Government and is currently occupied by the U.S. Consulate General in Florence. Refreshments will follow.