Quick Hits: Ernst Haeckel


This year is the 100th anniversary of the death of evolutionary biologist, zoologist and artist Ernst Haeckel, often known as the German Darwin. These dazzling plates are from Haeckel’s Kunstformen der Natur, the Art Forms of Nature, published in 1904.

Haeckel’s book, translated from sketch to print by lithographer Adolf Giltsch, consists of more than 100 specimens, many of which were first described by Haeckel himself. They were originally published in sets of ten between 1899 and 1904 and collectively in two volumes in 1904.

This beautiful artwork is discoverable on the site of The Public Domain Review  (one of my favourite places to explore).  Discomedusae (below), is of jellyfish, one of which reminded Haeckel of the long flowing hair of his wife, Anna Sethe, who died the year before he observed the organism.


A good profile on Ernst Haeckel, here.

A selection of his works on The Public Domain Review, here.

The scientific influence of Haeckel, here.

6 replies »

  1. I love Haeckel’s work. I was an art teacher for a few years (I now believe that artists benefit from a lack of formal art education) and students loved to create work inspired by his drawings. I’m determined to get a Haeckel tattoo one day!

    Liked by 1 person

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