Introduction

Ernst Haeckel was a philosopher, professor,
physician, naturalist, biologist and artist who
was responsible for hundreds of weird and
wonderful discoveries across the wide spectrum
of nature throughout the nineteenth century.
The pinnacle of his work - Art Forms in Nature began publication in 1899 and is still an
astonishing record of evolution on Earth.
When art and science come together, it is truly
mesmerising.

Marine biology strongly attracted Haeckel toward zoology, but due to
his family’s wishes, took a medical degree at Berlin instead in 1857.
For a time he practiced medicine but after travelling to Italy in 1858
began painting and even considered art as a career. He was finally
offered the newly established chair of Zoology in 1865.
(Plates 83 and 31 Art Forms of Nature)

Below is the 89th plate from Art Forms of Nature and shows a variety of turtle
species. From the Leatherback at the top left to the Common Snapping Turtle
(bottom right)

Haeckel was an avid Darwinist and
produced illustrations that people could
study and understand, images that
glowed with colour and meticulous detail
bringing the exotic and remote in to the
libraries of the world. Apparently, there
had not been anything like these
extraordinary prints before and they could
have been illustrations from another
planet to the people of the nineteenth
century.

Ernst Haeckel -Sea Urchins and Coral
30th plate Art Forms in Nature

Antilopina - Print by Ernst Haeckel,
Plate 100 Art Forms in Nature

Art Forms in Nature
Below is the link to all one hundred of
Haeckel’s magnificent illustrations
http://
www.rarebooksberlin.de/fileadmin/haec
kel_artforms.pdf