According to Wikipedia, “Ernst Heinrich Philipp August Haeckel (February 16, 1834 – August 9, 1919), also written von Haeckel, was an eminent German biologist, naturalist, philosopher, physician, professor and artist who discovered, described and named thousands of new species, mapped a genealogical tree relating all life forms, and coined many terms in biology, including anthropogeny, ecology, phylum, phylogeny, and the kingdom Protista. Haeckel promoted and popularized Charles Darwin’s work in Germany and developed the controversial recapitulation theory (“ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny”) claiming that an individual organism’s biological development, or ontogeny, parallels and summarizes its species’ entire evolutionary development, or phylogeny.”
He made lots of crazy connections and assumptions (almost all proven untrue) in scientific fields, but his drawings of the organisms he studied are right on. They”ve inspired a lot of the drawings and design work that I do. They’re so precise and colorful and simultaneously geometric and organic. Actually “right on” is the wrong way to describe them since he was also accused of embellishing details or even totally fabricating some of the organisms. Oh well, they’re still really beautiful.