Sędziwój Michał

Also known as Sendivogius Polonus, born in Sącz and died in Kraków. Alchemist and secretary of King Sigismund III and councilor of Emperor Rudolf II in Prague. He was also a mining specialist at the court of the German emperor. Known in the world at that time for his attempts to transmute lead into gold. He visited universities in Cambridge, Leipzig, Marburg and Altdorf. Looking for a solution to the mystery of the Philosopher’s Stone, he developed chemical features at the Krakow Academy. It was believed that he had a philosopher’s stone. He was very rich, not because of an alchemical activity, but a chemical one. He organized iron and lead smelters in Silesia. The well-known painting by Jan Matejko “Sędziwój” shows the moment of an attempt to transform the silver thaler into zloty 1604 at Wawel in the presence of King Sigismund III.

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