Art Forms from the Abyss: Ernst Haeckel’s Images From The HMS Challenger Expedition
By Ernst Haeckel
These radiant images from the renowned 19th-century biologist and illustrator Ernst Haeckel, featuring marine microorganisms, will enthrall fans of his previous collections and garner renewed attention for Haeckel’s unparalleled artistry. From jewelry designers to scientists, graphic artists to naturalists, the range of people inspired by Ernst Haeckel’s illustrations continues to grow. Following up on Prestel’s books Art Forms in Nature and Art Forms from the Ocean, this new collection features startlingly beautiful images created by Haeckel for the report of the HMS Challenger expedition, which circumnavigated the world from 1872–76, discovering and cataloging nearly 5,000 new species from the depths of Earth’s oceans. Full-page reproductions bring these organisms colorfully to life, drawing readers into a world at once hypnotic and highly ordered.
Divided into three sections―Siphonophores, Medusae, and Radiolarians―these illustrations display Haeckel’s remarkable artistic skill and understanding of the architecture of organic matter. The authors provide a brief history of the Challenger expedition, background on Haeckel’s scientific and artistic accomplishments, as well as informative texts on each group of organisms. A guide to the natural world and an inspiration to artists of every stripe, this collection of Haeckel’s work is a fitting tribute to a 19th-century genius.