Art Forms from the Abyss - Ernst Haeckel's Images from the HMS Challenger Expedition
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.
Hopefully it will introduce a new generation of artists and designers to the forms found in the plankton. Overall it is wonderful book and the authors are to be commended for their efforts. November, 2015 'Book Review' Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography.
Peter Williams is Emeritus Professor at the School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor University, Wales. David Roberts is Scientific and Technical Photographer and David Thomas is Professor of Marine Biology. Dylan Evans is an environmental and fisheries consultant.