VI – THE GREAT FESTIVALS OF THE YEAR AND THEIR REFLECTION IN SCIENTIFIC EXPERIMENTS

Plate 31, Fig. 59, 1% Gold chloride and 1% Lead nitrate, equal quantities mixed:This experiment we also judge as being a very beautiful Spring experiment, as far as form and colour are concerned. We must repeat here what we have just said about gold-tin. The “character of the day” comes in strongly and overpowers to a certain extent the specific qualities of the various metal salts. The deepest shades are of reddish purple, radiating through the whole lower part, then follows a more delicate pinkish purple and a broad light yellow zone. The border line is finely drawn in purple. We recognize the great part which is played by the gold in the forming. A similarity is apparent between this experiment and the one with Tin chloride, a likeness which is emphasized through the black and white reproduction, where the forms stand out much more clearly and the distinctive differences given by the various colours cannot come into their own.The originals are more different than the black and white print makes them appear.

As our eyes glide along the complete series of seven pictures, we notice that although each experiment represents another metal salt combined with gold, something weaves through the whole series which makes them belong to each other. A certain way in which the forms lift themselves up and are rounded off like a cupola is inherent in each of them, and gives—as I expressed before—the character of the day. It would be impossible to replace one picture of this series with an identical experiment carried out the day before, or the day after: it would be obvious as not belonging to this series.

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DESCRIPTION OF THE EXPERIMENTS CARRIED OUTWITH VARIOUS SUBSTANCES AT NOON 28th MARCH, 1943,THE DAY FIXED BY THE ASTRONOMER ROYAL AS EASTER SUNDAY

Plate 25, Fig. 47, 1% Gold chloride and Silver nitrate

Plate 25, Fig. 47, 1% Gold chloride and Silver nitrate

Plate 25, Fig. 47, 1% Gold chloride and 1% Silver nitrate, equal quantities mixed: Even the black and white print can suggest how beautiful this picture was in its original colours. Beginning the description from the bottom we find a dark purple arc in the centre below, interrupted by a small band of pinkish purple, the rest of the picture as interweaving shades of light and dark purple. On top we notice to both sides light half circles; these were golden yellow in the original. Here and there light blue appears.The whole space from top to bottom is filled with weaving, streaming colours. The centre top is formed by a narrow golden band in continuation of the two half circles mentioned before. The border line itself is of delicate light mauve. It is not possible to describe such pictures adequately. Certainly the description calls for an artist more than a scientist. This is a result which is not obtained ordinarily and we have to set this picture apart.

Plate 26, Fig. 49, 1% Gold chloride and 1% Quicksilver chloride

Plate 26, Fig. 49, 1% Gold chloride and 1% Quicksilver chloride

Plate 26, Fig. 49, 1% Gold chloride and 1% Quicksilver chloride equal quantities mixed: Again the result shows unusual beauty in colour and form. The dark shades in the middle are bluish purple, of slightly metallic lustre. A narrow light band weaves near the top, having the light mauve shade of lavender. The centre is topped with golden yellow and both’ sides are dark mauve, similar to the experiment with silver and gold. The golden yellow did not occur in any single experiment of the previous series carried out during the Spring Equinox. This experiment we must also classify as unusually beautiful and impressive.

Plate 27, Fig. 51, 1% Gold chloride and 1% Copper sulphate,

Plate 27, Fig. 51, 1% Gold chloride and 1% Copper sulphate,

Plate 27, Fig. 51, 1% Gold chloride and 1% Copper sulphate, equal quantities mixed: We need hardly say that this is a “unique” picture for Gold chloride and Copper sulphate. Again and again we return to this picture, admiring its beauty. We see in the lower part a dark purple arc, intersected with lighter bands, similar to the form in Fig. 47 (Gold chloride and Silver nitrate). The arc is crowned by a wavy band of pinkish purple and above it a strange form appears that splits, as it were, into two halves;shaded in light and dark purple. This picture seems a metamorphosis of the two previous experiments. The dark arc is as in Fig. 47, -the elongated form as in Fig. 49,but split into two; it is a metamorphosis from silver to quicksilver to copper formative forces. An artist’s eye will enjoy this play of formative forces. (To make our description more clear, a few diagrammatic sketches follow, covering the phenomenon of metamorphosis for the complete series). On top of the central form is a narrow band of golden yellow, surrounded by a purple line. The border line is formed by a green copper zone. Never, in all the years of experimenting with gold and copper, has a similar picture been formed. It stands there unique in its beauty of colour and strangeness of form.

Plate 28, Fig. 53, 1% Gold chloride

Plate 28, Fig. 53, 1% Gold chloride

Plate 28, Fig. 53, 1% Gold chloride: In the middle below we notice again the dark purple arc, perhaps widened horizontally, intersected with many rhythmically arranged wavy lines in various shades of purple. These waves are repeated faintly,above the darker middle part, and change into pinkish purple for the rest of the picture.The central arc has dark purple waves on both sides, which complete the middle structure of the form (see diagram). The light waves on top look identical with those in Fig. 47 and have that same golden yellow. Here and there are light blue shades and again golden yellow in the centre top; both sides are encircled by a dark purple line.Here too the colour was overwhelmingly beautiful. These pictures seem to come alive.Their beauty is somehow different in character from the other results.