Ernst Haeckel

I have put a post up before about the sublime beauty of the illustrations of the Victorian naturalists, botanists and biologists. But Haeckel takes the trophy for the sheer quantity of ‘notable work’. He didn’t just discover thousands of new species but he also mapped out a genealogical tree for many species. A big pal of Darwin’s, he pushed the boundaries of science in his native Germany until he died in 1919.

His achievements are too great to list and require much more detail than I know. I just love the fact that he was as accomplished as an illustrator/artist as he was as a scientist. A combination that is sadly a rarity today.

You can leisurely peruse his fine works (especially the underwater sealife works) in one of his books. Or there are several of the scanned-in plates to view from the ‘Radiolaria’ book of 1862 on Kurt Stüber’s website. Someone also told me about a recent animated film called ‘Proteus’ that was made in 2004, which looks at Haeckel’s work. Could be rather splendid too.

Thanks to Angharad Jones for the ‘heads-up’.

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