The enigma of the unknown alchemist is now resolved

By Patrick Rivière

Fulcanelli : Sa véritable identité enfin révélée. La lumière sur son oeuvre.

By Patrick Rivière. Ed de Vecchi.


After more than fifteen years of reflexion, we finally decided to reveal the true identity of the enigmatic FULCANELLI. Who was the masterly author of the Mystery of the Cathedrals and of the Dwellings of the Philosophers, whose depth remains considerable still nowadays, at the beginning of the 21st century

FULCANELLI let appear in his work, in addition to an unequalled teaching of Alchemy and Hermetic Symbolism , invaluable elements making it possible to determine his true personality and thus to prove with certainty his patronymic identity

According to the thread skilfully left by Eugene Canseliet who was the unique disciple of FULCANELLI, we devoted ourselves here to a true investigation which led us to inquire into the alchemical but also into the scientific spheres of the years 1880-1920. It appeared slowly but clearly that the one who was dissimulated behind the pseudonym of FULCANELLI, was also a prestigious member of the Institute. Indeed, a great number of his reports and communications were retained by the Academy of Science. It is thus by no means surprising that he was in contact, according to the own testimony of Eugene Canseliet, with the scientists of his time, such as the elderly Chevreul, Marcellin Berthelot or even Pierre Curie, but also with the popular politicians of his time, whom he was meeting at his friend's Ferdinand de Lesseps, the man at the origin of the famous Suez Canal!

This meticulous investigation enables the intense moments and the breath-taking discoveries which marked out the life of the famous alchemist whose pseudonym of FULCANELLI meaning the Fire of the Sun, was perfectly suitable. This pseudonym indicated his hermetic concerns indeed just as it indicated his scientific research, which allowed him to reach... immortality on two behalves!

His pupil and disciple Eugene Canseliet tried to put the reader on the track by leaving behind him many indices allowing to discover the real identity of the Master who was profiled behind the pseudonym of FULCANELLI.

To whom did one apply the identity of FULCANELLI, in the neighborhood of Eugene Canseliet? After having claimed, at the beginning, that he was himself, as Paul le Cour thought , (the eminent founder of the Atlantis magazine), the authors Jules Boucher, Robert Ambelain, Robert Amadou and more recently Genevieve Dubois (1) did not hesitate to proclaim that he could be only the painter Jean-Julien Champagne, unless he was R. Schwaller de Lubicz who knew Champagne, or even the writer Rosny-Aîné, author of la Guerre du Feu (the War of Fire), or perhaps the scholar Pierre Dujols whose Parisian bookshop welcomed the hermetists of the time.

According to Richard Khaitzine (2), FULCANELLI was no other than the Dr. Jobert who, passioned by Alchemy, would have performed in public, in 1905, an authentic transmutation into gold.

It is necessary to then know moreover, that Pierre Pelvet, in a PhD. thesis entitled "Alchemy in France in first half of the XX' century ", identified FULCANELLI with F.Jollivet-Castelot, president of the "Société Hyperchimique de France". As for the writer Jacques Bergier, it affirmed to have met an alchemist who was not other than FULCANELLI (in " le Matin des Magiciens ") and claimed that he was R.Schwaller de Lubicz.

In a recent work, a young author, Frederic Courjeaud (3) even pretended that FULCANELLI was not other than the famous astronomer Camille Flammarion. But, he was really none of these, the truth being quite different as we will discover it.


In our book "L'Alchimie: Science & Mystique" (éd. De Vecchi, Paris), we had already examined , the "final ecu" which closes the Mystery of the Cathedrals and whose anagram - except for a letter - indicates F-u-l-c-a-n-e-l(l)-i!

Eugene Canseliet provides us with its heraldic reading:

On field of gules, a cereal/an ear of corn/surmounting the hippocampus, both or and issuant of champagne (4) in the same way.


According to Robert Ambelain (in "La Tour Saint-Jacques), the motto "Uber Campa Agna" would have quite simply pointed to Champagne the painter whose first name, for the circumstance, would have been borrowed from his father: Hubert; this first name appearing after those of Jean-Julien on the death certificate of the artist and his sister used it in a letter addressed to R. Schwaller de Lubicz. Whatever it be, nothing prohibited indeed that the illustrator of FULCANELLI at the very least signed his work of an ultimate drawing in the shape of a blazon equipped with an ambiguous motto, according to the principle of phonetic assonnance specific to those who master the Language of the Birds, still added to the legend!

Moreover, it is rather singular to notice that the hippocampus was synonymous with "the horn of the Egyptian god Amon" , for the hermetists and that it was used to thus indicate their " Salt of Harmony" governing the realization of the alchemical Great Work. Perhaps, is this for this reason - as entrusted us Serge Hutin - that the symbolic "sea horse" was with in honor in the family of Lesseps to which the famous Ferdinand, who had built the Suez Canal, belonged? No doubt, this blazon with the hippocampus was used as " the chosen ecu " to the prestigious family! Our regretted friend thought, that his presence avenue Montaigne, indicated without doubt that Pierre de Lesseps, which was interested in Alchemy, was FULCANELLI himself!

And if, on another point of view, " uber " were to be taken in the direction of " rebus ", the blazon of the Master being read like such?

Then, nothing would oppose to consider the tail of the hippocampus to indicate the letter "J" like the initial of a first name (Jean, Jacques, Joel? ...). Moreover, " the J " penetrating the heraldic champagne (5), seemed to "violate" (phonetically purple) it. Moreover, the or champagne shaping the letter " V ", one could guess here the initial of the foreword!

A last assumption remains: if it is known indeed there that the antiquated totem or emblem of the country of Armor, Armorique, was a hippocampus (6), couldn't have one detected an allusion to the Breton city of Hennebont from where the wife of Pierre Dujols was originating and who would then have logically indicated that Dujols was FULCANELLI. But then, why would he have signed his Hypotypose in the Mutus Liber, of the pseudonym of Magophon (literally. " the voice of the magus ") rather than of that of FULCANELLI? Such an inconsistency is badly explained indeed! However, a cabalistic element will hold all our attention: let us think that Eugene Canseliet never failed to remind us that just as Julien Champagne was the close friend of Pierre Dujols, FULCANELLI liked him and enjoyed to see in him the descendant of the prestigious Valois which had reigned on France. However, the word " Valois " provides the anagram " violas ", Latin accusative of viola, indicating... " a violet "!

- Le "Sieur of the Violet "

If Eugene Canseliet mentioned the spagyrist " Joseph Duchêne alias Sieur de la Violette and not less than twelve times the name of Viollet le-Duc in his books, it is that it never missed the occasion to refer to the homophony of the patronym of the Master. In the same way, he did not omit to evoke the Fire of the Sun (" Vulcan-Helios") being used to indicate the pseudonym of FULCANELLI. Also let us remember the allusion that he often made to the distinguished author " La Poussière de Soleils ", Raymond Roussel - that J-J Champagne called " the class " - was certainly not unrelated! Besides, Eugene Canseliet added, in connection with this singular work, the hermetic interpretation that the poet with " the sealed star " gave to it. Andre Breton, indeed, questions himself in "Fronton Virage", about " a secrect " of large scale dissimulated by whom he regards as " the biggest magnetiser of the modern Times ", whose work is marked out with cabalistic " processes" calling upon the language of the Birds which veils enigmatic truths: " Is it quite conceivable that a man, unrelated to any initiatory tradition, regards himself as due to carry in his grave a secret of another kind (which would be after all only his), while providing indications which appear to testify to a very keen desire to make it find? "

This " secret " was of course, in addition to that of the unfolding of the Great Work, that of the profane personality of FULCANELLI which Raymond Roussel knew perfectly to have met it more than one once avenue Montaigne, at the private mansion of the Lesseps. The author of La Doublure in addition attended there J-J Champagne for which he nourished a great esteem.

In the number of these indices sown by Eugene Canseliet also appears the legendary meeting which he made with FULCANELLI, in 1915, in Marseilles. He specifies in its Alchimiques Mémoires that this one would have been held rue Dieudé where the Master lived then in a nice building. After having consulted the " Directory of the streets of Marseilles " of the time, it appears indeed that at the number 4 dwelled a certain Ch. Violette, bookbinder. Did his qualification referred to the famous sentence of the Mutus Liber of the alchemists: " Lege, lege, relege... labora and invenies " ( read,read, read again...) by the means of the phonetic cabal (bookbinder is in French a "relieur", relieur meaning "re-reader", NDT)? However the man "could only have interest in the old books " as his cleaning lady had presented him in these terms to Eugene Canseliet as he was a student at the Arts school, place Carli. But was this fabulous meeting between the Master and the disciple more of history or of legend, in its etymological meaning: legenda=what has to be read? The question ineluctably remained asked when one knows at which point the hermetists are set on the phonetic cabal.

In all cases, the patronym of Violet was clearly postulated, just as the membership of FULCANELLI to the scientific community of the end of the XIX th century did not seem to be any doubt, taking into account testimonies appearing in its works and which we will briefly evoke below.

After having reviewed a certain number of eminent scientists, of which members of the Institute, expressing their interest for Alchemy, such as Raspail, the elderly Chevreul, Jean-Baptiste Dumas, Marcellin Berthelot... FULCANELLI does not hesitate to write: "If we were not held by the promise that we made them, we could add to these scientists the names of certain scientific celebrities, entirely conquered to the art of Hermes, but whom their situation obliges to practise only in secrecy..." (in The Dwellings of the Philosophers).

In a second paragraph, FULCANELLI underlines all the difficulty for a scientist, in order to apprehend the alchemical reality:"Be careful with using, in your observations, what you believe to know, because you will be brought to note that it would have been better not to have learned anything than to have to unlearn."

These are, perhaps, superfluous advices, because they require, in their practical implementation, the application of an obstinate will whose mean ones are unable to have. We know what it costs to exchange the diplomas, the seals and the parchments against the humble coat of the philosopher. We had to drink empty, at twenty-four years old, this chalice with its bitter breuvage. The heart injured, ashamed of the errors of our youth, we had to burn our books, to confess our ignorance and, modest neophyte, to decipher another science on the benches of another school..."

The acknowledgement of the Master is here obvious. How indeed, could FULCANELLI have shown more eloquency as for his quality of scientist belonging to the seraglio of its class!

With these elements in hand, it would seem logical to seek to identify FULCANELLI among the members of the prestigious Academy of Science, or at least among the scientists whose Memories concerning their discoveries were retained and published and presented at the Institute of France. In the same way, it appears logical that he should be sought among the chemists, even the eminent physicists of his time!

On another side, it would be advisable not to forget that, if allusions to the color violet were frequent in the work of Raymond Roussel:" lys d'or du drapeau violet" (pp.122-124-125), however, it is the title of Poussière de Soleils which retained the attention of Eugene Canseliet; this expression referring, obviously, to the Solar radiation. Did Eugene Canseliet thus indicate the scientific research carried out by the eminent scientist whose pseudonym of FULCANELLI ("the Fire of the Sun") would as much have been used to illustrate his state of alchemist as his real identity?

If one refers to the idea that the blazon of the Master must be analyzed such as a "rebus", the letter "J" (formed by the tail of the hippocampus) would then seem to "violate" the champagne of the ecu, this one being able to suggest moreover the letter "V". Thus, the initial letters of the patronym of FULCANELLI could have been J.V. his name turning very well into, why not, J V.(iollet)?

We examined with a lot details and intrusions in the universe of the Institute of France, all the possible assumptions which bring back to us to only one and single solution which is clarified in our book: " Fulcanelli révélé ", which should be published soon (Oct. 2000) by De Vecchi editor, the "FULCANELLI mystery" being thus definitively cleared up there! (7)

- FULCANELLI and the mysteries of Seville

During the Fifties, Eugene Canseliet carried out a quite curious tour in Spain, from which he secretly entrusted his friend the writer Claude Seignolle. This one wished to publish this quite strange history in a collection of more or less fantastic testimonies but in which was to appear the name of their authors. Claude Seignolle however gave up to the temptation to publish this story, on the condition of remaining in most strict anonymity. That was made when the work appeared in 1969, under the generic title of Invitation au château de l'étrange (ed. Maisonneuve et Larose).

Eugène Canseliet was certainly informed of the publication of his testimony remained in anonymity and he decided two years later, that is to say in 1971, to speak and open out more in connection with this strange voyage which would have brought him in the area of Seville, in Andalusia. The journalist Henri Rode interviewed him on this subject in the first issue of the magazine Le Grand Albert: "I travelled to Spain, did he confess, not far from Seville, where I was the host of friends having a beautiful residence with terrace and double staircase with a view on the park. I smelled immediately Fulcanelli in the environment. Especially when I discovered out of my window - still adding to the charm of the picture - the presence of a small child of approximately ten years old and of a small girl, who seemed to come from a painting of Vélasquez. A pony and two greyhounds accompanied them. But, after one of these long nights of work which I am used to, the discovery that I made still appeared more persuasive me: in a large alley with a dense foliage, a young woman, a queen, was walking towards me, carrying the collar of the Golden Fleece and followed by a duenna. All that very sharp, very luminous. The young woman made me a hot sign with head, and I was sure that Fulcanelli blew me: ' Do you recognize me?' To what I answered: "yes." But how to translate such certainty... "

What can one deduce? That she was a close relative of the Adept, appeared thus in such a clothing? Or, besides that, such as suggested by Kenneth Rayner Johnson suggests (in The Fulcanelli Phenomenon, ed.Neville Spearman, Jersey), that it was about an "initiatory" phenomenon as during a chamanic trance and symbolizing moreover here perfectly the hermetic archetype of the Androgynate!

At all events, the extraordinary character covered by these experiments reported by Eugene Canseliet deserves well a little interest. Besides he provides other details during various later talks. He says on this subject in Le Feu du Soleil (with R. Amadou, éd. J-j Pauvert): "He (Fulcanelli) is not there any more. It is on the earth, but it is the terrestrial Paradise. What does he do now? I did not see anything. I saw him while arriving, when he received me dressed out in a suit/.../And then, I saw him when I worked at the laboratory. It came to see me where I worked, at the laboratory, and I saw him once, I saw him twice. "

It is still necessary to add to that, a posthumous testimony which was provided this time by late the Jean Laplace. This one, indeed, little time after the death of Eugene Canseliet (in 1982), discovered with Isabelle, Canseliet's daughter, in the family house of Savignies, a cardboard folder containing the documents related to the famous Finis Gloriae Mundi, the third work, not published, of FULCANELLI, as well as an invaluable relic related to the mysterious voyage to Seville, which he evoked in these terms: "I... I a small Bristol-board rectangle phograph notched on its edges "à la mode" of the Fifties. I am impressed so much by what this worthy relic represents, that I do not dare to reveal the existence... What to do about it? Destroy it ?It would be regrettable to volitilize forever the masterly spirit fixed on the plate sensitive to everything that irradiates."

Then, in a footnote: "It should not be understood that an ectoplasm had been impregnated there. I speak here about the face which kept from the common run of people only the human form and which is enriched by an indescribable expression." (in J. Laplace, Index général..... dans l'OEuvre complète d'E. Canseliet,éd. J-J Pauvert).

Wouldn't have one been astonished if FULCANELLI had said to his disciple thus, at the time of their meeting in Seville: "do not touch me!..." he would have declared to him, renewing in that the Pascal Mystery where thr Body of light triumphes, the only one worthy of glorious immortality...

It is precisely what the sensitive plate of the camera must should have seized and which Jean Laplace, now dead, sincerely tried to make us believe!

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Here the famous Philosopher Dwelling, near Seville, where E Canceliet found Fulcanelli in 1954 and where we were led, by the biggest of the chances! It is a hacienda (hacienda indicating h fortune in Spanish).

Finis Gloriae Mundî" ("End of the Glory of the World ")

The third work of FULCANELLI, which was withdrawn, according to the desire of its author, from every possible publication, was entitled "Finis Gloriae Mundi" ("End of the Glory of the World"). The matter, like one suspects it, was to be serious! Besides Eugene Canseliet did not hesitate to evoke it in the following way: "In the passive resignation of the people controlled by scientism, I understand better, after soon a half-century, the firm decision taken by Fulcanelli, that its third book shall not published. - "(in La Tourbe des Philosophes, n°4)

It should be said that Finis Gloriae Mundi indicates also the title of an astonishing painting preserved at the Santa-Caridad Hospital (Saint Charity), at Séville, in Spain! This panel of two meters high was carried out by the artist Juàn de Valdès Léal, in 1672, to the ordering of Miguel de Manara, or Don Juàn. At the time of his stay in Andalusia, Eugene Canseliet was aroused by the expression of this macabre jewel.

One can indeed see there in the foreground the corpse of a bishop in advanced decomposition, at the bottom of his coffin. Vis-a-vis him, head-digs, a knight lays in his coffin - in whom E. Canseliet believed to see a member of the Order of Calatrava, successor of the Templars - this one by no means affected by the putrefaction and whose open eyes and the freshness of the dye imply that he rests peacefully and thus escapes any wear of time. One detects there with quasi-unanimity the character of Don Juàn in person. In the second plane, a hand carrying the mark of the crucifixion, but curiously female, leaves the clouds, carrying the beam of a scale of which each plate is underlined by the inscriptions nimas ("neither more"), nimenos ("nor less")! On the left, at the entry of the crypt, an owl stands in hieratic posture, symbol of wisdom, seeming to weigh the situation seriously. In the background one guesses skeletons and dispersed bones which participate to the already quite macabre character of this scene entitled Finis Gloriae Mundi, as shown by the phylactery attached to the first so worrying coffin since it seems well that the Church is here forever deposed to the advantage of the initiatory awakening symbolized by the death-simulating knight.

Moreover, the other painting facing this one, does not leave any doubt on this subject since it presents the death with her scythe - the skeletal foot pressing the world symbolized by the terrestrial sphere seeming to scorn the pontifical attributes, such as the tiara and the papal cross, besides as the riches of the temporal power figured by jewels and swords. The skeleton indicates with the index of the its right hand the Latin phrase In ictu oculi ("in a wink"); what added to the preceding sentence gives us:

End of the Glory of the World..... In a wink

Finis Gloria Mundi "Finis Gloria mundi" (end of the glory of the world), painting of J of Valdès Léal, capel of the hospital of the Holy Charity of Seville.

In ictu oculi
"In ictu oculi" (In a wink) painting of J of Valdès Léal facing the opposite painting.

Before his death, alas too early, Jean Laplace had the good fortune to discover, as we precised previously, within the famous hard-bound folder sheltered in the house of Savignies, the components of the synopsis of what should have been the third book of the Master. On this subject, it is to be stressed that a forged Finis Gloriae Mundi, not following in anything this synopsis, appeared a few months ago, among the general indifference. Masterly showing that it was about a "coarse forgery", J-P Thomas indicated then in his critic entitled "Finis Gloriae Mundi or the history of a characterized imposture": "the advised reader will save himself a quite useless expenditure of time and money while neglecting to get such a harmful and underhand work which is also ridiculous and insipid."

But thanks to its already considerable work, the memory of FULCANELLI will always remain immortal...

(1) G. Dubois : Fulcanelli dévoilé , éd. Dervy, Paris. (2) R. Khaitzine : Fulcanelli et le cabaret du Chat-Noir ", éd. Ramuel ; et en collaboration avec J. Dreue : CD-Rom La chronique d'un mystère annoncé , sur (3) F. Courjeaud : Fulcanelli. Une identité révélée, éd. Claire Vigne, Paris. (4) the champagne indicating into heraldic, one the lower third of the blazon. (5) the champagne being into heraldic one the lower third of the blazon (6) While the Dukes of Brittany adopted the hermine in their armorial bearings, thus referring to the Hermione Princess. (7) cf also, our book to be appeared, in collaboration with Johan Dreue: Fulcanelli... alchemists of the Republic,