Kunstformen der Natur, or Art Forms in Nature, encapsulates biologist Ernst Haeckel’s response to Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. Haeckel (German, 1834–1919) published these exquisitely rendered depictions of flora and fauna in ten installments of ten illustrations from 1899 to 1904, aiming to widen the general public’s understanding of naturalism. Haeckel also clearly saw his illustrations as more than just scientific documentation: in introducing one of his plates, he wrote that its patterns would not be out of place in embroideries or on urns and bottles. Haeckel’s elaborate forms have been called a precursor to art nouveau, and his influence even stretched to architecture.
108 pages with 50 images to color.