Ernst Haeckel Kunstformen der Natur. Hummingbird (Trochilidae)
On August 9th was Ernst Haeckel’s commemoration day at #spacewhaleco in recognition of 100 years since he died . Haeckel’s “Kunstformen der Natur” or “Art Forms in Nature” was influential in early 20th-century art, architecture, and design, bridging the gap between science and art. In particular, many Art Nouveau artists were influenced by Haeckel’s images.
Ernst was a German zoologist, naturalist, philosopher, physician, professor, marine biologist, and artist who discovered, described and named thousands of new species, mapped a genealogical tree relating all life forms, and coined many terms in biology, including ecology, phylum, phylogeny and Protista.
Haeckel promoted and popularised Charles Darwin’s work in Germany and developed the influential but no longer widely held recapitulation theory (“ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny”) claiming that an individual organism’s biological development, or ontogeny, parallels and summarises its species’ evolutionary development, or phylogeny.
The published artwork of Haeckel includes over 100 detailed, multi-colour illustrations of animals and sea creatures, collected in his Kunstformen der Natur (“Art Forms of Nature”). As a philosopher, Ernst Haeckel wrote Die Welträthsel (1895–1899; in English: The Riddle of the Universe, 1901), the genesis for the term “world riddle” (Welträtsel); and Freedom in Science and Teaching to support teaching evolution.
See our beautiful range of Haeckel prints, art papers and writing sets below.