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Bernard Trevisan

Bernard Trevisan (Bernard of Treviso, Bernardus Trevisanus) refers to one or more Italian alchemists. These are often confused, or more accurately the name may refer to a shadowy figure or figures.



The figure from the fifteenth century is described as living from 1406-1490. He was born into a noble family in Padua and spent his entire life spending his family fortune in search of the Philosopher's stone.

He began his career as an alchemist at the age of fourteen.[1] He had his family's permission, as they also desired to increase their wealth. He first worked with a monk of Citeaux named Gotfridus Leurier. They attempted for eight years to the fashion the Philosopher's stone out of hen eggshells and egg yolk purified in horse manure.

He then worked with minerals and natural salts using distillation and crystallization methods borrowed from Geber and Rhazes. When these failed he turned to vegetable and animal material, finally using human blood and urine. He gradually sold his wealth to buy secrets and hints towards the stone, most often from swindlers. He traveled all over the known world, including the Baltics, Germany, Spain, France, Vienna, Egypt, Palestine, Persia, Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus, to find hints left by past alchemists. His health had been deteriorating, most likely from the fumes he had created with his alchemy. He retired to the Island of Rhodes, still working on the Philosopher's stone until his death in 1490.

Attributed works

In the sixteenth century alchemical works were attributed to Bernard. For example, Trevisanus de Chymico miraculo, quod lapidem philosophiae appellant was edited in 1583 by Gerard Dorn. The Answer of Bernardus Trevisanus, to the Epistle of Thomas of Bononia[1], and The Prefatory Epistle of Bernard Earl of Tresne, in English, appeared in the 1680 Aurifontina Chymica.[2]


  1. ^ Thomas of Bononia being described as physician to Charles VIII of France, king at the end of the fifteenth century.

Further reading

  • Kibre, Pearl (1970). "Bernard of Trevisan". Dictionary of Scientific Biography 2. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. 22-23. ISBN 0684101149. 
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Bernard_Trevisan". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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