Ernst Haeckel

Arabische Korallen,

watercolor on paper,

circa 1876


Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919)

Arabische Korallen (Arabian Coral)

watercolor on thin paper

18 x 27 cm (sheet 28 x 35 cm)

circa 1876

This watercolor is one of the first scientifically accurate depictions of a coral reef.  It is a study for an illustration in Haeckel's monograph Arabische Korallen (Berlin 1876), Plate III, a lithograph by Adolf Glitsch.  It appears that Haeckel's watercolor was itself based upon the pioneering undersea drawings of Eugen von Ransonnet-Villez in the 1860s.  See Stefanie Jovanovic-Kruspel, Valérie Pisani & Andreas Hantschk, “Under water” – Between Science and Art – The rediscovery  of the first authentic underwatersketches by  Eugen von Ransonnet-villez (1838–1926), 119 Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien, Serie A, 131-153 (2017).


Jack Daulton
The Daulton Collection