Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ernst Haekel

Sea anemones from Ernst Haeckel's Kunstformen der Natur
(Artforms of Nature) 1904.

Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919), was an eminent German biologist,
zoologist, naturalist, philosopher, physician, professor and
accomplished artist and illustrator who discovered, described and
named thousands of new species, mapped a genealogical tree relating
all life forms, and coined many terms in biology. The published
artwork of Haeckel includes over 100 detailed, multi-colour
illustrations of animals and sea creatures, which, in my opinion, are
absolutely magical. I want to frame a few of his prints for the manor.

Haeckel (left) with Nicholai Miklukho-Maklai, his assistant, in the Canaries, 1866.


  1. I've always been facinated with anemones. They really are magical the way they move under water. I'd love to have a few in my aquarium!

    And thank you for removing the word verification thingy! ~ I see several of us have and it makes commenting so much more pleasant! :)

  2. You do have a magnificent blog and your photography borders on the elegant. I like your words and the pictures used with them.

    I also appreciate the word verification thing being turned off for now.

    I should say that a group of us let Blogger know about this problem and one of their spokespersons said they would look into it. And I have already noticed that those who still have this feature turned on are now showing letters of the alphabet that can be recognized. So maybe our complaint has done some good.

  3. Just beautiful Willow..when I read about people like Ernst Haeckel and others who have made a difference in the world, I always have the same thoughts...my... but I would love to sit at the dinner table and have great conversation with them... Can you just imagine that for a moment....never loosing eye contact..taking in all his words..listening to his adventures....Wonderful post

  4. Thank you so much, Abe. Coming from a real photographer, I am truly honored.

    Yes, those verifications were getting out of hand! I thought I was going crackers. ;)

  5. DeeDee, my sentiments, exactly. I have often thought about which historical figures I would like to sit down to dinner with...all the questions I have for them. Humm...that is a great idea for a great post, actually...

  6. Willow, the photo is beautiful. It's so clear and vibrant. I think Haekel's work shows definite stylistic... not content:-)... influence of Hieronymus Bosch...

  7. Freud probably had a field day studying that colorful poster.

    I recall an incident when i was a student in a marine biology class. We were on a field trip to a low tidal zone which was teeming with critters. I confronted our professor and made a big deal out of not wanting to collect marine life - my reason was there was no sense in yet another class collecting live creatures for study purposes. I felt that too many things had already been collected then pickled and stored away in specimen jars.

    Now days we suffer the fact that popular beaches are in fact deserts with no marine life at all, the critters are gone from both above and below the tidal zone.

  8. Wow ! Thanks Willow what an amazing image. Images like these would look fabulous framed here at Black Street as well. xo, S & Winn.

  9. Bill, Teeheehee! Yes, Freud would go bonkers over this print!! I happened to think the same thing when I was posting it this morning.

    Your profile picture looks great with the print and subject today, BTW.

    Very sad, but true, fact about the marine life.

  10. Susan, isn't his work great? I thought you would like it. Wiki him and see some a little sampling of his work. I couldn't decide which print to post, they were all wonderful!

  11. I love this picture and I can see why you would want to hang a few of them around your home. It just pulses with vibrancy and colour - fabulous, thanks for introducing him to me.

  12. Great old photos. What a beautiful place the Manor is too.

  13. Hi Willow, however did you come across this gentleman and his amazing works....one doesn't usually hear about anyone other than Jacques Cousteau, when it comes to the sea. I wonder what sort of conversation that J.C. and E.H. would have had...or what they would have made of the (polluted) state of the oceans today, and what man is allowing to happen to one of our planet's most precious resources....

  14. Sorry, but they look like some acid trip. Anemones have got to be some of the weirdest of creation out there!

    I can picture these pictures lines along a long dark hallway, adding splashes of curious colour along the way!

  15. I love the careful poses and the artfully-placed props in the photograph of the two gentlemen.

    But what of the searing gaze of Nicholai Miklukho-Maklai, he of the melodic, poem-worthy name and glowering expression? I think a novel should be written about him, with tortured scenes of growing madness: "Damn Haeckel und hees soggestive paintingks. I am seeck of cleaningk hees broshes. Vere ees dee turpentine? Som night ven he ees asleep, I shall poison heem and run off viz my Canary Island concubine."

  16. P.S. My proof that Miklukho-Maklai is mad? The way he wears his beret. Enough said.

  17. BPG, yes a novel...and then a film! Tee hee you are so funny! I thought the same thing about the carefully arranged objects for the making of the photo. Being an artist, Haekel must have spent quite some time in the preparation of the scene.


Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)