Ernst Haeckel was a physiologist, anatomy teacher, scientist and illustrator who lived in the 19th century and died in 1919. Haeckel is known as the inventor of oecology, or the study of the relationship between living beings. His magnum opus is a book entitled Kunstformen der Natur (Art Forms of Nature) in which he produced detailed colour illustrations of animals, sea creatures and microorganisms. Produced in multi- colour, the works seem almost science- fictional depictions of imaginary species, though they are grounded in scientific observation. In light of the massive extinction of species we are experiencing, we can see Haeckel’s work as a time machine or representative of a lost world.

Ernst Haeckel (b. 1834, Potsdam, Prussia, d. 1919, Jena, Germany) was a German naturalist, zoologist, evolutionist, philosopher and artist who was a strong proponent of Darwinism. He discovered, described and named thousands of new species, mapped a genealogical tree relating all life forms, and coined many terms in biology. Trained as a physician, he practiced medicine for a short time. He then travelled to Italy where he painted and considered becoming a professional artist. In 1859, heavily influenced by Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, Haeckel returned to academic studies. He became an associate professor of zoology in 1862 and he remained at the university until 1909. The published artwork of Haeckel includes over 100 detailed, multi-colour illustrations of animals and sea creatures, collected in his Art Forms of Nature.

EXHIBITED WORKS

Discoidea, 1899-1904
First edition print
26 × 35 cm

Ophoidea, 1899-1904
First edition print
26 × 35 cm

Nudibranchia, 1899-1904
First edition print
26 × 35 cm

Asteridea, Starfish, 1899-1904
First edition print
26 × 35 cm

Phaeodaria, 1899-1904
First edition print
26 × 35 cm

Bryozoa, Moss Animals, 1899-1904
First edition print
26 × 35 cm

Polycyttaria, 1899-1904
First edition print
26 × 35 cm

Melethallia, 1899-1904
First edition print
26 × 35 cm

Siphonophorae, 1899-1904
First edition print
26 × 35 cm

Thalamophora, 1899-1904
First edition print
26 × 35 cm

Tetracoralla, 1899-1904
First edition print
26 × 35 cm

Basimycetes, 1899-1904
First edition print
26 × 35 cm

Stephoidea, 1899-1904
First edition print
26 × 35 cm

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