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Human Forms in Nature: Ernst Haeckel’s Trip to South Asia and Its Aftermath

- September 13, 2017 in Art & Illustrations, art forms in nature, biology, ceylon, Darwinism, ernst haeckel, eugenics, Kunstformen der Natur, race, racism, Science, Science & Medicine, sri lanka

An early promoter and populariser of Darwin's evolutionary theory, the German biologist and artist Ernst Haeckel was a hugely influential figure of the late 19th century. Bernd Brunner looks at how a trip to Sri Lanka sowed the seeds for not only Haeckel's majestic illustrations from his Art Forms in Nature, for which he is perhaps best known today, but also his disturbing ideas on race and eugenics.