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The 8th print, Discomedusae. The center and bottom-center images are Desmonema annasethe; the tentacles reminded Haeckel of his late wife's long flowing hair.[citation needed]

Kunstformen der Natur (German for Art Forms of Nature) is a book of lithographic and autotype prints by German biologist Ernst Haeckel. Originally published in sets of ten between 1899 and 1904 and collectively in two volumes in 1904,[1] it consists of 100 prints of various organisms, many of which were first described by Haeckel himself. Over the course of his career, over 1000 engravings were produced based on Haeckel's sketches and watercolors; many of the best of these were chosen for Kunstformen der Natur, translated from sketch to print by lithographer Adolf Giltsch.[2]

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. The subjects were selected to embody organization, from the scale patterns of boxfishes to the spirals of ammonites to the perfect symmetries of jellies and microorganisms, while images composing each plate are arranged for maximum visual impact.[3]

Among the notable prints are numerous radiolarians, which Haeckel helped to popularize among amateur microscopists; at least one example is found in almost every set of 10. Cnidaria also feature prominently throughout the book, including sea anemones as well as Siphonophorae, Semaeostomeae, and other medusae. The first set included Desmonema annasethe (now Cyanea annasethe), a particularly stunning jellyfish that Haeckel observed and described shortly after the death of his wife Anna Sethe[citation needed].

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.[4]

A second edition of Kunstformen, containing only 30 of the prints, was produced in 1924.

Gallery of prints[edit]

Haeckel's original classifications appear in italics.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Juliana D. Kreinik; New York University. Institute of Fine Arts (2008). The Canvas and the Camera in Weimar Germany: A New Objectivity in Painting and Photography of the 1920s. ProQuest. p. 232. ISBN 978-0-549-58248-9. 
  2. ^ Breidbach, Visions of Nature, p. 253
  3. ^ Breidbach, Visions of Nature, pp. 229-231
  4. ^ Breidbach, Visions of Nature, pp. 231, 268-269
  • Breidbach, Olaf. Visions of Nature: The Art and Science of Ernst Haeckel. Prestel Verlag: Munich, 2006.

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kunstformen_der_Natur — Please support Wikipedia.
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5 news items

The Guardian

The Guardian
Tue, 12 Aug 2014 06:14:24 -0700

Email. Sixteen botanical studies, figures of orchids presented as a single floral display. Plate 74 from the book Kunstformen der natur by Ernst Haeckel (Leipzig, Wien, Bibliographische Institut, 1899-1904). Original: lithograph (1899) by Adolf Giltsch ...
 
Pressetext.com (Pressemitteilung)
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 00:52:30 -0700

Er stellt die Meeresorganismen in einzigartigen Zeichnungen dar und veröffentlicht sie zwischen 1899 und 1904 im mehrbändigen Buch "Kunstformen der Natur". Auch die aufkommende Fotografie ermöglicht eine Sicht auf Einzelheiten der Natur, die mit ...
 
Spektrum.de
Wed, 30 Jul 2014 03:03:57 -0700

Fossile Überreste irdischen Lebens könnten auch auf anderen Himmelskörpern im Sonnensystem zu finden sein – zumindest theoretisch, meinen britische Forscher. So könnten etwa die stabilen Kalkschalen von längst verstorbenen Diatomeen per Meteorit ...
 
Südwest Presse
Wed, 30 Jul 2014 04:10:02 -0700

Ein paar Meter weiter sprießen sozusagen drei Pilze von Ulrike Häußler aus dem Boden. Kunstformen der Natur ist das Thema der Heidenheimerin, die ihr Handwerk bei dem Künstler Helmut Braig gelernt hat. Eigentlich wollten die beiden für UMoSSA etwas ...
 
02elf Düsseldorfer Abendblatt
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 04:37:30 -0700

Er stellt die Meeresorganismen in einzigartigen Zeichnungen dar und veröffentlicht sie zwischen 1899 und 1904 im mehrbändigen Buch “Kunstformen der Natur”. Auch die aufkommende Fotografie ermöglicht eine Sicht auf Einzelheiten der Natur, die mit ...
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