Earth911 Podcast: Mapping A Smart Path To The Circular Economy At The Ellen MacArthur Foundation REMADE Conference

Tune in to a special Earth Day 2024 episode about accelerating the path to a…

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Flip Through More than 5,000 Pages of This Sprawling 19th-Century Atlas of Natural History

an 18th-century natural history book illustration of numerous long-legged birds

Courtesy of the Biodiversity Heritage Library

In the early 19th century, German naturalist Lorenz Oken quickly established himself as a leader in the Naturphilosophie movement, a current of Idealism, which attempted to comprehend a total view of nature by investigating its theoretical structure—a precursor to the natural sciences as we know them today.

Oken’s seminal work Allgemaine Naturgeschichte Für Alle Stände, or General Natural History For All Classes, was published as a series of seven volumes between 1833 and 1843. At more than 5,000 pages in its entirety, the atlas depicts known species ranging from beetles and fish to birds and ferns. In many cases, insects or plants are shown in various stages of development, like a butterfly displayed alongside its larval and pupal forms.

Containing illustrations engraved and printed by a number of contributors, the vivid portrayal of wildlife and botanicals attempts to classify similar specimens, labeling them with both their common and scientific names and grouping like examples into compartments.

Explore Oken’s entire Allgemaine Naturgeschichte in the Biodiversity Heritage Library’s digital archive, where you can also download tens of thousands individual illustrations. You may also enjoy flipping through an eclectic array of rare Japanese schoolbooks,  admiring Elizabeth Gould’s detailed bird illustrations.

an 18th-century natural history book illustration of eels

an 18th-century natural history book illustration of moths, some shown at their larval and pupae stages

an 18th-century natural history book illustration of numerous beetles, organized by size and color into classifications in a chart

an 18th-century natural history book illustration of winged insects, classified into a grid

an 18th-century natural history book illustration of butterflies, some shown at their larval and pupae stages

an 18th-century natural history book illustration of numerous plants and botanicals categorized on the page into a grid

an 18th-century natural history book illustration of ferns, categorized on the page into a grid showing their seeds and different stages of growth

an 18th-century natural history book illustration of mushrooms

an 18th-century natural history book illustration of bird eggs and nests

an 18th-century natural history book illustration of bird eggs and nests

Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member today and support independent arts publishing for as little as $5 per month. The article Flip Through More than 5,000 Pages of This Sprawling 19th-Century Atlas of Natural History appeared first on Colossal.

Kaleidoscopic Paintings by Edie Fake Invoke the Spiritual Wisdom of Plants

geometric elements in colorful strips and flowers fit into a system of gears and belts in a painting on a black backdrop

“Bustle” (2024), acrylic and gouache on wood panel, 48 x 48 inches. All images courtesy of Western Exhibitions, shared with permission

In Persuasions, artist Edie Fake turns their attention to the wise, enduring insights of plants. The new series of acrylic and gouache paintings expands Fake’s bold visual language to incorporate flowers, which they render amidst the kaleidoscopic geometries they’re known for. Evocative of architecture and mechanics, the colorful graphic works veer into the spiritual, melding the myriad systems that order our lives.

Fake often begins with a meticulous sketch in graphite. Using rulers and protractors, they render impeccably precise shapes that together, comprise a highly engineered network of gears, bottles, and lanterns. This series draws on Tarot and the diagrams of Swiss healer Emma Kunz (1892-1963), who saw her work as answers to larger philosophical, spiritual, and medical problems. Vines crawl up the side of “Theater of the Fool” and the flowering pillars of “The Old Arrangements in a New Light” beam with radiant light, seamlessly binding the botanical and the divine.

Persuasions is on view from April 12 to June 1 at Western Exhibitions in Chicago. Find more from the artist on Instagram.

an abstract painting with colorful stripes and geometric elements. flowers line the left side with spiky protractors on the right

“Theater of the Fool” (2024), acrylic and gouache on wood panel, 48 x 48 inches

an abstract work with colorful stripes and geometric elements

“One Thing To Fit Another” (2024), acrylic and gouache on wood panel, 36 x 36 inches

an abstract colorful painting with a writing snack at the bottom and gears and belts interspersed throughout

“Mr. Snakes and Ladders” (2024), acrylic and gouache on wood panel, 48 x 48 inches

a painting with three pillars, the left and right are flowers and rays, and the center is a lantern with geometric elements. all on a black background

“The Old Arrangements in a New Light” (2024), acrylic and gouache on wood panel, 36 x 36 inches

an abstract geometric painting with floral details in the center and radial elements throughout

“Suasion” (2024), acrylic and gouache on wood panel, 36 x 36 inches

an abstract painting of a colorful striped lantern with a gold ring at the top

“Hurricane Lantern” (2024), acrylic and gouache on wood panel, 16 x 12 inches

Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member today and support independent arts publishing for as little as $5 per month. The article Kaleidoscopic Paintings by Edie Fake Invoke the Spiritual Wisdom of Plants appeared first on Colossal.