Fabre, Pierre Jean (ca. 1590–1650)
French alchemist, a native of Castelnaudary in Languedoc.
Fabre was a doctor of medicine and was renowned in his own
time as a scholar of chemistry, a subject on which he compiled
several treatises. Because he practiced in Montepellier, he has
been confused with a painter named Fabre who was born in
Montepellier and gave his name to the Musée Fabre in that
There is no evidence that Pierre Jean Fabre had any practical
success in the field of alchemy, but he wrote numerous
works dealing with that topic.
Of these the most important are Alchimista Christianus and
Hercules Piochymicus, both published at Toulouse, the first in
1632. In the latter he maintains that the mythological ‘‘labors
of Hercules’’ are allegories, embodying the arcana of hermetic
philosophy. The philosophers’ stone, he declares complacently,
may be found in all compounded circumstances and is
formed of salt, mercury, and sulphur.