Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Ernst Haeckel Archive

Wikimedia is a fantastic resource; I love to browse it in my spare time (sadly limited at present). Here is a set of plates from Ernst Haeckel's Kunstformen der Natur (Artforms of nature) (1904).

This description of Kunstformen der Natur is abridged from Wikipedia.

Kunstformen der Natur (Art Forms of Nature) is a book of lithographic and autotype prints by German biologist Ernst Haeckel. According to Haeckel scholar Olaf Breidbach (the editor of modern editions of Kunstformen), the work was "not just a book of illustrations but also the summation of his view of the world." The over-riding themes of the Kunstformen plates are symmetry and organization. Kunstformen der Natur was influential in early 20th century art, architecture, and design, bridging the gap between science and art. In particular, many artists associated with Art Nouveau were influenced by Haeckel's images, including René Binet, Karl Blossfeldt, Hans Christiansen, and Émile Gallé. One prominent example is the Amsterdam Commodities Exchange designed by Hendrik Petrus Berlage, which was in part inspired by Kunstformen illustrations.


  1. John, thanks for mentioning my blog at The Scientist site. But I hope my mother won't read the "hardcore microbiology" thing, she might misunderstood it. (Wait... "hardcore microbiology"... interesting concept... no relation to this, right?)

  2. Cesar,
    I'm telling your mom you're spending your time reading about sex :P

  3. I love Haeckel's plates, though he (or perhaps because he) tends to artistically arrange tentacles and such.

  4. Haeckel may have had an agenda, but it sure was a pretty agenda. Yum.