Ernst Haeckel

Bats, from Ernst Haeckel's seminal Kunstformen der Natur (1904). Adrian will discuss Haeckel in lecture 3 of his Art & Science series. Haeckel, a zoologist-artist (that doesn't quite cover his achievements), popularised Darwin in Germany (On the Origin of Species was published in 1859).

Haeckel's system of imaging and composition is of a laid-bareness, a head-on symmetry that emphasizes recurring geometries across species and nature. This supports his "
recapitulation theory ('ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny') claiming that an individual organism's biological development, or ontogeny, parallels and summarizes its species' entire evolutionary development, or phylogeny." (Wiki).

He sometimes resorts to a more illusionistic, three-dimensional space but it is quite rare through the 100 or so plates. It happens through his motive to articulate and reveal. This is perhaps unfamiliar to you and a step you are required to take in the project. That is, composition, formal decisions borne out of a need to explain.

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