Saturday, December 18, 2010


Ernst Haeckel was a turn of the century German biologist that changed the world with his scientific illustrations. Trained in many scientific fields, he not only named multitudes of species, he illustrated them as well. Wikipedia describes him as" an eminent German biologistnaturalistphilosopherphysicianprofessor and artist who discovered, described and named thousands of new species".  Kunstformen der Natur, "Artforms of Nature" is the book of his intricate illustrations. 

Haeckel's illustrations of invertebrates influence the design world even today.

This is a classic Finish 1960's Eero Aarnio mushroom lounge chair.

Even basic shapes are mimicked in design.

These military insignia are a perfect example of the influence of nature.

Haeckel's work, as a design element,  is still fresh...

These drawings provide endless kaleidoscopic combinations of design.

It is easy to see how rosettes and baroque scrollwork are based in  the nature that Ernst Haeckel illustrated for us.

Haeckel's illustrations can be found in his original book form or through reprinted copies.


ceecee said...

Can you guess that I'm crazy for Haeckle?! So much so I'd wear a Haeckle tee shirt. Have a festive weekend, Theresa.

Theresa Cheek said...

I would expect no less from YOU! Enjoy the holidays.


mosaicology said...

Very interesting! Reminds me of rosettes often used as a theme for mosaic round tables.

Theresa Cheek said...

Exactly! Haeckel's artistic interpretation of scientific subject matter is what makes them so beautiful. So many rosettes that occur in nature!

Regina at Fauxology said...

I never knew this, Theresa - thank you! It proves that Inspiration can be found in the unexpected, as evidenced by these beautiful scientific illustrations and how they've influenced design. Love the examples.

Lynne Rutter said...

love this stuff! i painted a ceiling rosette using a medusa from one of haeckel's books. it was creepy cool.

Theresa Cheek said...

I would love to see that! There is so much inspiration in his work.

Gina said...

Dear Theresa, Another very interesting and beautiful post. Would not have made the connection... but now that I think of it, it makes perfect sense. Thank you and Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Karena said...

Theresa, his work is just astounding and I love the green backgroun illustration!!

Joyeaux Noel!

I have a new giveaway from My Sparrow, do come and enter!

Art by Karena

Mark D. Ruffner said...

I love the juxtaposition of the Haeckel illustration with the military insignias! Brilliant!

Theresa Cheek said...

Thank you Mark. I think your blog is brilliant!

Patrick Gracewood said...

Haeckel's work is so inspiring, not just for the visual beauty, but also in how many disciplines he covered.
It's all about training our eyes and minds to see more clearly.

My Castle in Spain said...

Succulent post, dear Theresa as always !
Have a wonderful Christmas with lots of bubbly, joy and love...

Cashon&Co said...

I became obsessed with his illustrations about 4 years ago? I have about 25 copies which I framed. They are amazing aren't they?

Unknown said...

Thank you for this absolutely most interesting post.... You have a wonderful site and I lover learning new things!!!! Great post!

Related Posts with Thumbnails