Art Forms in Nature

Long a favorite of designers, this 1904 album of diverse little-known creatures and plants drawn by German biologist Ernst Haeckel has usually been reproduced in black and white. This edition is of note because while still inexpensive it retains the color plates of the original portfolio (although many of the 100 plates remain monochrome). Art Forms in Nature is a library of possibilities. Artists, engineers, and natural scientists use this album for inspiration, since each of these bizarre forms is a living highly-evolved organism. It’s hard to believe all these species are earth found; why look to other planets for weird life forms?

-- KK  

[Since Haeckel's work is in the public domain, there are a few sites where his worked has been scanned and posted online. Here's a German site with some nice hi-res scans of some of the more specatular pages. Unless you want to make them huge, the book is still a cheaper way to "print" them out. -- KK]

Art Forms in Nature
Ernst Haeckel
1998, 139 pages
$16

Available from Amazon

Sample Excerpts:

Tafel 17. — Porpema
Siphonophorae. Staatsquallen.

Tafel 63. — Dictyophora
Basimycetes. Schwammpilze.

Tafel 85. — Cynthia
Ascidiae. Seescheiden.