This landmark book is the first full appraisal of Vladimir Nabokov's long-neglected contributions as a scientist. Although his literary achievements are renowned, until recently his scientific discoveries were ignored or dismissed by many. Nabokov created well over 1,000 technical illustrations of the anatomical structures of butterflies, seeking to understand the evolutionary diversity of small butterflies called Blues. But only lately have scientists confirmed his meticulous research and vindicated his surprising hypotheses.
This volume reproduces 154 of Nabokov's drawings, few of which have ever been seen in public, and presents essays by ten leading scientists and Nabokov specialists. The contributors underscore the significance of Nabokov's drawings as scientific documents, evaluate his visionary contributions to evolutionary biology and systematics, and offer insights into his unique artistic perception and creativity.
Comprehensive and entertaining, this volume comprises the greatest works in animal illustration from the Middle Ages through the twentieth century. The chronological presentation of hundreds of black-and-white and color images begins with a medieval illuminated manuscript by the Limbourg brothers and the Renaissance works of Albrecht D rer and other artists from the first centuries of printing. Subsequent illustrations include the seventeenth-century real and imaginary animals of Matth us Merian and the unique eighteenth-century compilations of Albertus Seba. Nineteenth-century images are drawn from sources as diverse as J. G. Heck's Bilder Atlas; the prints of Georges Baron Cuvier; William Jardine's 40-volume Naturalist's Library; bird illustrations by John James Audubon, Alexander Wilson, Edward Lear, and many others; extraordinary butterfly and insect images by E. A. Seguy, as well as animal illustrations from Victorian chromolithograph die cuts. The exquisite Edwardian bestiary of the Detmold brothers brings the collection into the twentieth century, and ends with the imagery of contemporary dinosaur artist James Gurney.
Detailed bibliographical information concerning every source--including biographical details of each artist--makes this collection a vital reference tool as well as a splendid resource of outstanding animal illustrations. Students of graphic art and illustration, as well as graphic designers and advertising professionals, will prize this treasury of material from many rare historic sources.
The geometric shapes and natural forms, captured with exceptional precision in Ernst Haeckel's prints, still influence artists and designers to this day. This volume highlights the research and findings of this natural scientist. Powerful modern microscopes have confirmed the accuracy of Haeckel's prints, which even in their day, became world famous. Haeckel's portfolio, first published between 1899 and 1904 in separate installments, is described in the opening essays. The plates illustrate Haeckel's fundamental monistic notion of the "unity of all living things" and the wide variety of forms are executed with utmost delicacy. Incipient microscopic organisms are juxtaposed with highly developed plants and animals. The pages, ordered according to geometric and "constructive" aspects, document the oness of the world in its most diversified forms. This collection of plates was not only well-received by scientists, but by artists and architects as well. Rene Binet, a pioneer of glass and iron constructions, Emile Galle, a renowned Art Nouveau designer, and the photographer Karl Blossfeld all make explicit reference to Haeckel in their work.