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‘An Alchemist in his Laboratory’ Oil on canvas After David Teniers the Younger, 17th century RRa0012 / 45088i Wellcome Library
Cabinets and curiosities
LEFT: Laboratory and library of an apothecary–physician Engraving Early 17th century M0007386 Wellcome Images
The rooms of Renaissance alchemists and apothecaries often contained books, curious objects and practical equipment, all side by side. These integrated collec- tions, or ‘cabinets’, reflect the intertwined nature of looking, thinking, reading and doing.