What’s New?

Library Web Catalog

The Library now has a catalog, searchable via the internet. If you are a current library subscriber, please email library@sfjung.org for your login and password.

Splendor Solis DVD Available

A limited number of copies of the DVD, The Splendor Solis: Introduction to the Symbolic Alchemy of the 1582 Illuminated Manuscript, narrated by Dr. Joseph Henderson, are available for sale to Libraries and individuals for $35.

The Splendor Solis images shown in Dr. Henderson’s 1987 lecture at the C. G. Jung Institute in San Francisco are from the illuminated manuscript (dated 1582) in the British Library, London. That manuscript contains twenty-two allegorical paintings and accompanying text.

Dr. Henderson first encountered the Splendor Solis in 1937, while he was completing medical school and was still in analysis with Jung. Henderson wrote of this period in his book, Transformations of the Psyche, (2003, Brunner-Routledge):

“In those days, I was aware that Jung was making study of alchemy, but I didn’t know much about what he was writing…. At that time I began to dream of colors and color sequences. I was fascinated, but I didn’t understand the dreams until I thought of Jung’s comments on alchemy in seminars that I had attended in Zurich and that color sequences might refer to something alchemical. Although by this time I was strongly influenced by Jung’s psychology, this upsurge of alchemical material in my psyche occurred spontaneously.

“I do not remember how I happened to discover the beautiful illuminated manuscript by Salomon Trismosin called the Splendor Solis, but there it was in the library of the British Museum, near where I was studying for my final examinations for graduation from medical school. I was permitted to look at this magnificent alchemical treatise, and in it found many of the same colors and color sequences I had seen in my dreams….

“The deeper meaning of my psyche’s turn to alchemy did not become known to me for a very long time. Eventually, it took an important place in my life and … work. While the three series of plates in the Splendor Solis were originally intended to illustrate the symbolism of alchemy, I found that they could express significant stages in any deep process of discovery.

“In 1968, I was able to acquire transparencies of the whole series of the Splendor Solis paintings from the British Library, and I have used the slides for teaching [about the symbolism of the unconscious] at the C. G. Jung Institute in San Francisco ever since.”