The Lullian ‘Art of Finding Truth’: Ivo Salzinger

For more than 20 years, between 1721 and 1742, Ivo Salzinger worked to make a Latin edition of the works of Ramon Llull. He collated, translated and wrote comments on Llull’s works. Eight volumes were published before the grand project was interrupted. In each of these volumes, we find this highly suggestive initial emblem.

The scene represents the birth of Jesus, that is to say, the incarnation of God. We can see two beams of light: the light of reason (lumen naturae) coming from the sun and finally causing fire, that is to say, the technical; and the light of grace, coming from the Holy Spirit, aiming at the heart of the Virgin Mary causing the baby Jesus. This is the light of revelation (lumen gratiae).

In Ramon Llull’s work we see the harmonious confluence of these two axes: intellectual activity and divine revelation. For this reason, his thinking is as illogical as it is contemplative.

If you look closely, the beams of light from Salzinger’s engraving are in dialogue with the lines of light of the installations of the artist Jeongmoon Choi (Echo, 2016; Invisible-Fold, 2015), but they are also in dialogue with the network of interactions between the subjects and issues of Llull’s system, which Atanasius Kircher embodies in an engraving of the Ars magna sciendi (1669), a work inspired by Llull’s ars.

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Understanding Ramon Llull: ​Philosophy, Arts and Science through the Ars Combinatoria

Pompeu Fabra University Barcelona

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