The Art and Science of Ernst Haeckel

Discover Ernst Haeckel, the 19th-century artist-biologist who found beauty in even the most unlikely of creatures. This collection features 450 prints from his most important publications, including the majestic Kunstformen der Natur and his extensive catalogues of marine life. As biodiversity is ever-more threatened, these exquisite images are a scientific, artistic, and environmental masterwork. 


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, 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.

I have started watching the cartoon “Octonauts.” That show teaches kids, and now me, so much about ocean life. After watching the episode with the little, lost sea star, I wanted to research more about them. I came upon the most beautiful diagram illustrated by a German biologist/artist named Ernst Haeckel. His work is so mind-blowing that I just had to find more. If you like these images, you really should check out more of his work. 


Ernst Haeckel, Kunstformen der Natur (Artforms of Nature), published between 1899 and 1904.


Aww man. Yesterday I went to the Hendrik Conscience historical library and I was finally able to lay my hands on a copy of Ernst Haechel’s Kunstformen der Natur. It was so wonderful. The book was restored, but that didn’t really matter, at least it didn’t fall apart while I was reading it haha.
What amazed me the most was the fact that this book had such a profound influence on the Art Nouveau movement. Not only the shapes of nature, but also Haeckel’s craving for symmetry, many a time made me like I was looking at vases and lampshades in stead. The middle picture shows a set of intresting looking animals, but they might have been the helmet collection of Queen Jadis (aka the White Witch of Narnia)!
All-in-all an awesome book. I wished Haeckel had made more books like these.