Orchidae Orchids by Ernst Haeckel


A lithographic color plate by Ernst Haeckel showing different varieties of orchids. Possibly inspired from an expedition to Java in 1900.



Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919) falls under the rare category of artists who were also scientists. He had a deep love for nature, and always yearned for the emotion and poetry of adventure. However, he was forced to study medicine by his father, which led to a preferred specialization in zoology.

Torn between two worlds of reason and poetry, logic and emotion – science and art – he explored forests and seas to discover, describe and name thousands of new species.

Then one day he began to draw them.

According to Haeckel, drawing was a way of seeing – it helped “penetrate deeper into the secret of her (nature’s) beauty”. His “two souls” converged to create hundreds of magnificent drawings of various species. They are characterized with smooth, free flowing lines and vivid patterns. 

The drawings went on to inspire 19th Century Art Nouveau artists, who were looking to respond to the rise of inorganic machines of the Industrial Age, and an over reliance on rigid history.

It is known to have inspired French glass artist Emile Galle, Barcelona architect Antoni Gaudi, American architect Louis Sullivan, American designer Louis Comfort Tiffany and French architect Rene Binet, among others.

About Artwork

Seen here, is a lithographic color plate from Ernst Haeckel’s Kunstformen der Natur (Art Forms of Nature), published between 1899 and 1904. It shows an artist’s depiction of different varieties of orchids. Possibly inspired from an expedition to Java in 1900, where he marveled at how the flora and fauna had to develop unique characteristics to survive in a diverse ecosystem.

Museum-quality poster made on thick and long-lasting matte (uncoated) paper.

– Paper weight: 200 gsm / 80 lb

– Shipped in sturdy packaging protecting the poster

Printed and shipped on demand. No minimums.

Additional information


15×20 cm / 6×8″, 30×40 cm / 12×16″

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