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Art Forms in Nature (Dover Pictorial Archive) Paperback – June 1, 1974

4.3 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Art Forms in Nature (Dover Pictorial Archive)
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  • Art Forms in Nature: The Prints of Ernst Haeckel
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Ernst Heinrich Haeckel (1834–1919) was renowned as one of the foremost early exponents of Darwinism. His work was credited with having caused the acceptance of Darwinism in Europe, and his popular studies―preaching the continuity of all life, organic and inorganic, from prehistoric time to the present―converted tens of thousands of readers all over the world. Today, although no one is greatly interested in Haeckel the biologist-philosopher, his work is increasingly prized for something he himself would probably have considered secondary. These are the remarkable plates with which his work was illustrated, particularly his famous Kunstformen.
The Kunstformen contains 100 beautiful lithographic plates which show a multitude of unusual life forms: Radiolaria, Foraminifera, and other forms of microscopic life; jellyfishes, starfishes, calcareous sponges, star corals, barnacles, and other sea life; mosses, lichens, red algae, ferns, fungi, orchids, and other plants; and turtles, moths, spiders, bats, frogs, lizards, hummingbirds, and antelope. With many drawings on each plate, each carefully drawn from nature, the subtle details of nature's art forms are easily compared and appreciated.
In addition to being marvelous renderings, these plates have long been noted for the peculiar emotional appeal that they have for most viewers, a premonition of surrealism with exotic organic life forms stretching back to their roots in the inorganic, and individual details drawn with awareness of subtle evolutionary changes and millennia-long developments. Artists, illustrators, and others will find them still powerful as one of the landmarks of applied art. 
Complete reprinting of all 100 plates from Kunstformen der Natur (1904).  

About the Author

Haeckel was Professor of Zoology in Jena, Germany.
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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Pictorial Archive
  • Paperback: 100 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; Revised edition (June 1, 1974)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486229874
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486229874
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 9.5 x 12.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,866 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anyone who 'knows' Dover books, will probably agree that they offer good quality for very reasonable prices. There is nothing 'wrong' with this book, except that all the plates are in black and white, and there is no information on Haeckel and his times. Prestel has also published this book of plates, with a highly informative article on Haeckel, his influences, and those influenced by him included, AND with many of the plates 'in color' (that is, often one color in different -subtle - hues, or a color scheme based on two colors). Unless you are a strictly 'black and white' person, I would advise you to look for the Prestel book.
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Many patterns in nature are often overlooked. Haeckel captures the natural beauty of living creatures, presenting them in such a way as to spotlight their delicate forms. This black and white rendition of Haeckel's artwork is very impressive, adding a quality perhaps more pleasing to the modern eye than the color originals. Although no written text accompanies the plates, one still understands what the artist is conveying. Haeckel's grouping of the organisms in a very detailed, scientific manner is at the same time aesthetically pleasing to both scientists and nonscientists.
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By A Customer on July 10, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book as a reference book for my personal library and found that my children also love it. The illustrations are stunning and helpful on both an artistic and scientific level.
I highly reccomend this book for artists and for anyone interested in nature (including children). My 10 year old lovers to try to draw the images and identify them.
This book is not for someone looking for photographic images.
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Format: Paperback
The one with the color plates is called
Art Forms in Nature: The Prints of Ernst Haeckel (Monographs) (Paperback)
# ISBN-10: 3791319906
# ISBN-13: 978-3791319902
Prestel Publishing (August 1998)

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.
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Format: Paperback
Buyer Beware! Even though the cover is in color (deceptively so in my opinion), all of the images in this book are in black & white! I wish I had read the description more carefully before buying. The colors in Haeckel's images are a HUGE part of what makes them so amazing. Check out the Haeckel images at Wikimedia Commons (commons.wikimedia.org) to see what I mean. Rendering them in black & white is a grotesque defacement of his work in my opinion.
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Format: Paperback
I recommend a different version of this book, also sold on Amazon - link below. I am not sure if it contains the same set of illustrations, but many of the illos are in color, and it includes a CD containing all the pics from the book.

[...]
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am fascinated by the "Art Forms in Nature". The natural designs are unbelievable and amazing. There are tons of ideas for mandalas and other creations (especially beading). This book can really enhance your imagination. I gave it only four stars because I was disappointed that none of the plates are in color....only on the cover.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a must have for any artist. This is the second copy I have purchased, as a gift for a very talented father in law. Being an artist, I am constantly looking for inspiration and this book delivers that in abundance! How nature created these natural forms.....is simply amazing.....you have to be in awe of them. If for nothing else, the beauty of these pictures will amaze you.....and to some of you, you may even know what they are! To me, they are art.
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