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Art Forms in Nature: The Prints of Ernst Haeckel Paperback – August 25, 2008
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Original Language: German
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Top Customer Reviews
|Length: 3:36 Mins|
The book is also published by Dover (see my review there), without any accompanying text (apart from a short publishers's note), and with all the plates printed in black and white.
In this book, many of the plates are printed 'in color' (either different hues of one color, or a color scheme based on two colors). The book also has a highly informative article on Haeckel and his times, and on those that were influenced by him.
I find it very hard to explain what exactly makes these plates so wonderfully beautiful. It is partly the symmetry of their composition, and the way in which they render the beauty of nature. The article in the book itself describes it very well:
"What is it that Haeckel depicts here that is so beautiful? It is the beauty of ornament. The forms illustrated in these pages seem to fit seamlessly into the repertoire of Art Nouveau forms. [........] Haeckel's approach did not determine Art Nouveau, instead Art Nouveau's approach determined Haeckel's. What ensued was a symbiosis between decorative sketches and descriptive observations of nature [...]."
If you are looking for a book on Haeckel and his plates, get this one!
1. Ernst Haeckel. Great stuff, fascinating, awesome pictures. About this there can be no doubt, and in general this is 5 star stuff.
2. People are saying the art is pristine, but i am not sure i am seeing that. I can see blurriness in here and i am not sure the colors are representative of the originals. The coloring of the medusa on the cover is fairly different from the original in the plates in the book. None the less, i have read the other versions available are often B&W and maybe i have too high expectations?
3. Here is my biggest complaint, and where someone can maybe guide me and i may up my review. I am half way through the front matter. There are references to Haeckel's text about the plates. Where the heck is Haeckel's text? Is it not included? Do no versions have the translation of his text??? Also, the section in the back that does provide some detail on the plates in several languages doesnt always seem to provide a clear english explanation of what i am looking at - often the more common name of the organisms doesnt seem present - often times i understand the french taxonomy more than the english. Even if Haeckel's original text isnt fully explanatory (which i get the impression it isnt) why go to the trouble of printing such a fascinating book without a better explanation of the plates? Why not tell me what group of animals is portrayed, and what parts of them are in the various parts of the pictures. The front matter talks about select plates (eg, the center of one illustration is the fish, the outer pictures are of scales; we are only looking at skeletons of radiolarioans; various parts of the pictures depict certain aspects of algae). Providing a clearer guide to what is what would seem a natural for a reprinting of this book.
...The quality, in the Prestel edition, is good enough for framing if you want to take the book apart. It is printed in Germany on acid free paper, of decent weight, unlike the Dover edition,which has no color plates.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Beautiful book. Amazing illustrations by one of the great naturalists and early Darwinists.Published 24 days ago by F. Allen
The print quality is impressive, especially for the modest cost, and the pictures are large and clear. Recommended.Published 1 month ago by Alan A. Donovan
Beautiful book! Well over a hundred pages of amazing forms and textures. Have already used it in my art classroom as reference.Published 2 months ago by silverbunny
Lovely book, the type of paper, the colors, everything is on point! Highly recommended book for Haeckel's fans and for those who aren't!Published 2 months ago by Crampaholic
Its a really nice book. The illustrations are amazing. Im very happy with the purchase!Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is a fantastic collection of Haeckle's work, and includes not only black and white prints, but some colored prints as well.Published 3 months ago by Melanie R.
In love with this book. The glossy pages make the drawings look extra sharp and striking. Definitely a good choice.Published 4 months ago by Rachel