Art and Biology: Ernst Haeckel’s Masterpieces

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Copyright: © TASCHEN Köln/Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen
Sauropsida-Lepidosauria, plate 79. Here is   a peek into Taschen’s forthcoming   The Art and Science of Ernst Haeckel   (out December, too big for a stocking but still perfect for the burgeoning biologist in your life). Ernst Haeckel, the turn-of-the-century   biologist, naturalist, professor, and artist,   was an ardent Darwinist, a   denouncer of   religious doctrine, and a writer of philosophical treatises. Copyright: © TASCHEN Köln/Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen
ungi – Club fungi, from Art Forms in Nature, 1899–1904, plate 63 Copyright: © TASCHEN Köln/Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen
Cnidarians and Scyphozoans, from Art Forms in Nature, 1899–1904, plate 28 Copyright: © TASCHEN Köln/Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen

  He   discovered, described, and named thousands of new species, depicting them in sketches and watercolors as notable for their artistic mastery as they are for their celebration of nature’s symmetry and diversity. Copyright: © TASCHEN Köln/Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen

Anthropoid, plate 47. Copyright: © TASCHEN Köln/Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen
Cnidarians, from Art Forms in Nature, 1899–1904, plate 8 Copyright: © TASCHEN Köln/Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen
Monograph on the Medusae, vol. Mollusca-Cephalopoda, plate 54. But,   at a moment when the planet’s biodiversity is dwindling, allow us to focus on the   beauty of his images and the lasting legacy of his contributions to science. Of course, some of his theories have aged more poorly: his   passionate Darwinism bled into the rising fascist doctrine in his native Germany, and he became a leading proponent of scientifically justified racism. He coined terms still in common use today, such as phylum, stem cell, and   ecology. 1, 1879, plate 1 Copyright: © TASCHEN Köln/Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen
Mammalia-chiroptera, plate 67.