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Encyclopedia > Magnum opus

Magnum opus (sometimes Opus magnum, plural magna opera), from the Latin meaning great work,[1] refers to the best, most popular, or most renowned achievement of an author, artist, or composer, and most commonly one who has contributed a very large amount of material. For instance, Don Quixote is the magnum opus of Miguel de Cervantes; In Search of Lost Time (also known as Remembrance of Things Past) is the magnum opus of Marcel Proust;[2] Leonardo Da Vinci's magnum opus is the Mona Lisa; Jonathon Swift's magnum opus is Gulliver's Travels. It can also refer to an individual literary or artistic masterpiece[3] (for example, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony). The term is also used in alchemy, with a complex meaning that mainly refers to the Philosopher's stone.[4] Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ... An author is the person who creates a written work, such as a book, story, article or the like. ... Look up artist in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A composer is a person who writes music. ... (now usually spelled by Spanish-speakers; is an archaic spelling) (IPA: ) or (The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote of La Mancha) is a novel by the Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. ... Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (September 29, 1547 – April 23, 1616), was a Spanish novelist, poet and playwright. ... In Search of Lost Time (fr. ... Proust redirects here. ... Leonardo and Da Vinci redirect here. ... Mona Lisa, or La Gioconda (La Joconde), is a 16th-century oil painting on poplar wood by Leonardo da Vinci, and is arguably the most famous painting in the world. ... Jonathan Swift Jonathan Swift (November 30, 1667 – October 19, 1745) was an Irish priest, satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer, and poet, famous for works like Gullivers Travels, A Modest Proposal, A Journal to Stella, The Drapiers Letters, The Battle of the Books, and A Tale of a Tub. ... First Edition of Gullivers Travels Gullivers Travels (1726, amended 1735), officially Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, is a novel by Jonathan Swift that is both a satire on human nature and a parody of the travellers tales literary sub-genre. ... Originally, the term masterpiece (or chef dœuvre) referred to a piece of handcrafted art produced by a journeyman aspiring to become a master craftsman in the old European guild system, which is partially retained today only in Germany. ... The Symphony No. ... For other uses, see Alchemy (disambiguation). ... The philosophers stone, in Latin philosophi lapis, is a legendary substance that supposedly could turn inexpensive metals such as lead into gold (chrysopoeia) and/or create an elixir that would make humans younger, thus delaying death. ...


  1. ^ The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, Retrieved December 10, 2006, from Dictionary.com
  2. ^ Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.0.1), Retrieved December 10, 2006, from Dictionary.com
  3. ^ WordNet® 2.1, Retrieved December 10, 2006, from Dictionary.com
  4. ^ Alchemy: Ancient and Modern, Section 43: Bernard Trévisan, Herbert Stanley Redgrove, Copyright 1999, by the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia

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