Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Ernst Haeckel

I just started reading Andrea Wulf's book, The Invention of Nature, Alexander Von Humboldt's New World. Although I haven't read very far yet, I noticed that Chapter 22 is titled "Art, Ecology and Nature, Ernst Haeckel and Humboldt."

I was reminded of the sea life drawings of Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919), artist, biologist, and philosopher, who was inspired by the the works of Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859), Prussian naturalist and Romantic philosopher. Although Haeckel's "Recapitulation Theory" (or "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny"), the idea that organisms' embryological stages mirror their evolutionary development, and his racial theory (that different human races developed independently and in parallel) are widely discredited, his nature drawings are held in high regard.

For visitors and residents of Ocracoke who enjoy searching for seashells along our beach, or who are fascinated with the profusion of life under the sea, Haeckel's drawings are a wonder to behold. Here is just one of many:

An internet image search will yield a fascinating selection of Haeckel's superb art. Enjoy!

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the Ocracoke Water Tank Caper. This is the link: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news032117.htm.

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