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Art Forms in Nature: Prints of Ernst Haeckel

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It happened that just when he was beginning his scientific career Darwin’s Origin of Species was published (1859), and such was the influence it exercised over him that he became the apostle of Darwinism in Germany. The 103 third parties who use cookies on this service do so for their purposes of displaying and measuring personalized ads, generating audience insights, and developing and improving products. Every living cell has psychic properties, and the psychic life of multicellular organisms is the sum-total of the psychic functions of the cells of which they are composed.

As a consequence of these views Haeckel was led to deny the immortality of the soul, the freedom of the will, and the existence of a personal God. Haeckel's portfolio, first published between 1899 and 1904 in separate installments, is described in the opening essays. What he termed the integration of his views on these subjects he published under the title of Die Welträtsel (1899), which in 1901 appeared in English as The Riddle of the Universe. The geometric shapes and natural forms, captured with exceptional precision in Ernst Haeckel's prints, still influence artists and designers to this day.Over the course of his career, over 1000 prints 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. There are some pictures of coral skeletons that instantly transport the reader to a somber world; and then there is an explosion of color and movement in plant and living coral. The center and bottom-center images are Desmonema annasethe; the tentacles reminded Haeckel of his late wife's long flowing hair.

Kunstformen der Natur (known in English as Art Forms in Nature) is a book of lithographic and halftone prints by German biologist Ernst Haeckel. I like the discipline in that long-forgotten way you feel when you're a hardcore fangirl screaming internally upon seeing something you like. I read five books, all told, for this meeting, which was undoubtedly overkill, but which I wholeheartedly enjoyed. Drawings are lumped into classes on single pages, so you'll get for example: one page of various starfishes, but without identification of each one. Although the introduction was quite tedious to get through, and filled with rather unnecessary things in my opinion, the art was so well worth it and gorgeous to rocket this right up into one of my favorite “coffee table” books of all time!According to his “carbon-theory,” which has been far from achieving general acceptance, the chemico-physical properties of carbon in its complex albuminoid compounds are the sole and the mechanical cause of the specific phenomena of movement which distinguish organic from inorganic substances, and the first development of living protoplasm, as seen in the Monera, arises from such nitrogenous carbon-compounds by a process of spontaneous generation. But the illustrations are other-worldly both in form and in the feeling they give: that rotifers, protozoans and medusae don't just inhabit scarcely-visible parts of our world, no they have their own world which we can barely glimpse into, as different and exotic as any science-fiction artwork. Kant's great mistake, which had such serious consequences for all of philosophy that followed, largely lies in the fact that his critical "Theory of Cognition" did not take into account physiological and phylogenetic principles which were only acquired sixty years after his death through Darwin's reform of the theory of evolution and through the discoveries of the physiology of the brain. I ran into some of Haekel's work on Pinterest originally, and didn't realise it was available in print.

In this book, adopting an uncompromising monistic attitude, he asserted the essential unity of organic and inorganic nature. These are the remarkable plates with which his work was illustrated, particularly his famous Kunstformen. The Kunstformen contains 100 beautiful lithographic plates which show a multitude of unusual life forms: Radiolaria, Foraminifera, and other forms of microscopic life; jellyfishes, starfishes, calcareous sponges, star corals, barnacles, and other sea life; mosses, lichens, red algae, ferns, fungi, orchids, and other plants; and turtles, moths, spiders, bats, frogs, lizards, hummingbirds, and antelope. Haeckel was a 19th century biologist and illustrator who specialized in mapping and painting natural history in mathematical and symmetrical diagrams that are nothing less than stunning works of art.Artists, illustrators, and others will find them still powerful as one of the landmarks of applied art. The book, as the introduction makes clear, is a work of scientific illustrations of primitive organisms. His work was credited with having caused the acceptance of Darwinism in Europe, and his popular studies ― preaching the continuity of all life, organic and inorganic, from prehistoric time to the present ― converted tens of thousands of readers all over the world.

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