“…a glorious, oversize volume collecting Haeckel’s artistic work.”
“This is a bible for those who love pattern.”
“…as energetic and colorful as Haeckel’s life. It’s scientific eye candy that feels as fresh as Haeckel’s groundbreaking biological art must have seemed more than a century ago.”
“Through Haeckel’s steady hand everyone can grasp the beauty, the elegance - and sometimes the sadness - in all walks of life.”
“…a glorious book… his influence on art and the natural sciences remains profound, and his stunning artworks continue to stand the test of time.”
“The book’s prints and commentary shed new light on the prolific output of Ernst Haeckel and his impact on modern science and philosophy.”
The Art and Science of Ernst Haeckel
Ernst Haeckel, the 19th-century pioneer who captured the artistic beauty of the natural worldErnst Haeckel (1834–1919) was a German-born biologist, naturalist, evolutionist, artist, philosopher, and doctor who spent his life researching flora and fauna from the highest mountaintops to the deepest ocean. A vociferous supporter and developer of Darwin’s theories of evolution, he denounced religious dogma, authored philosophical treatises, gained a doctorate in zoology, and coined scientific terms which have passed into common usage, including ecology, phylum, and stem cell.
At the heart of Haeckel’s colossal legacy was the motivation not only to discover but also to explain. To do this, he created hundreds of detailed drawings, watercolors, and sketches of his findings which he published in successive volumes, including several marine organism collections and the majestic Kunstformen der Natur (Art Forms in Nature), which could serve as the cornerstone of Haeckel’s entire life project. Like a meticulous visual encyclopedia of living things, Haeckel’s work was as remarkable for its graphic precision and meticulous shading as for its understanding of organic evolution. From bats to the box jellyfish, lizards to lichen, and spider legs to sea anemones, Haeckel emphasized the essential symmetries and order of nature, and found biological beauty in even the most unlikely of creatures.
In this book, we celebrate the scientific, artistic, and environmental importance of Haeckel’s work, with a collection of 450 of his finest prints from several of his most important tomes, including Die Radiolarien, Monographie der Medusen, Die Kalkschwämme, and Kunstformen der Natur. At a time when biodiversity is increasingly threatened by human activities, the book is at once a visual masterwork, an underwater exploration, and a vivid reminder of the precious variety of life.