Karl Blossfeldt Photos

Original prints, c. 1942

Explanation and Bio

Karl Blossfeldt’s training began with the study of industrial arts and design at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Berlin. In 1890, along with five other students, Blossfeldt received a scholarship to work in Rome with one of the instructors, Mortiz Meurer. Meurer assigned him the job of casting models of botanical specimens, ultimately to be used by industrial craftsmen and manufacturers. In addition, the group photographed plants based on a method developed by Meurer. Blossfeldt acquired a keen interest and special talent in this task and continued to photograph plants for the remainder of his career.

Blossfeldt was eventually hired at the Kunstgewerbeschule as an assistant teacher and assistant director for modeling from plants. (During this time of the German arts and crafts movement, this was considered an important field.) He taught there for 31 years, and became Professor Emeritus in 1930. Blossfeldt used his plant photographs to demonstrate to students that the best engineering solutions for industrial design had already been anticipated in nature. His theories never really caught on.

In 1925 the photographs caught the attention of Karl Nierendorf, a banker and collector versed in Dada, Precisionism and Constructivism. Partly due to this interest in the photographs as “art,” Blossfeldt began to exhibit his works in shows and in 1928 his first book was published. The book, Urformen der Kunst, (Art Forms in Nature) was edited by Nierendorf and published by Ernst Wasmuth. The book quickly went into successive editions and was followed by additional publications including Wundergarten in der Natur (Magic Garden of Nature) in 1932 and Wunder in der Natur (Magic in Nature) in 1942.

The photogravure printing process was popular in the late 1800s and early 1900s. At the time, it was the finest photomechanical means for reproducing a photograph in large editions. A descendent from the printmaking process of etching, photogravures utilize a copper plate. A transparent positive of the photographic negative is created and after several stages involving potassium bichromate, exposure to light, acid etc., the etched plate is ready. The result provides an almost velvety appearance to the image.

Karl Blossfeldt died December 3, 1932, in Berlin.

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Karl Blossfeldt Photos<br>Original prints, c. 1942

#1 Karl Blossfeldt Monkshood, young shoot

$100.00

Karl Blossfeldt 002

#2 Karl Blossfeldt Cut-leaved teasel

$100.00

Karl Blossfeldt 003

#3 Karl Blossfeldt Larkspur, part of a dried leaf

$240.00

Karl Blossfeldt 004

#4 Karl Blossfeldt Cut-leaved teasel

$80.00

Karl Blossfeldt 005

#5 Karl Blossfeldt Willkomm’s saxifrage, rosette of leaves

$80.00

Karl Blossfeldt 006

#6 Karl Blossfeldt Polypody, young unrolling leaf

$240.00

Karl Blossfeldt 007

#7 Karl Blossfeldt Common male fern, young unfurling fronds

$240.00

Karl Blossfeldt 008

#8 Karl Blossfeldt Maidenhair fern, young unfurling fronds

$240.00

Karl Blossfeldt 009

#9 Karl Blossfeldt Maidenhair fern, young unfurling fronds

$240.00

Karl Blossfeldt 010

#10 Karl Blossfeldt Great masterwort

$80.00

Karl Blossfeldt 011

#11 Karl Blossfeldt Tansy phacelia, flowering panicle

$80.00

Karl Blossfeldt 012

#12 Karl Blossfeldt Tansy phacelia, flowering panicle

$100.00

Karl Blossfeldt 013

#13 Karl Blossfeldt Blue top eryngo, capitulum

$50.00

Karl Blossfeldt 014

#14 Karl Blossfeldt Grass pink

$100.00

Karl Blossfeldt 015

#15 Karl Blossfeldt Pear, branches w/ fruit

$100.00

Karl Blossfeldt 016

#16 Karl Blossfeldt Mesembryanthemum, seed capsule

$50.00

Karl Blossfeldt 017

#17 Karl Blossfeldt Grass Pink

$100.00

Karl Blossfeldt 018

#18 Karl Blossfeldt Ground clematis, seed

$50.00

Karl Blossfeldt 019

#19 Karl Blossfeldt Weeping forsythia, tip of branch w/ buds

$80.00

Karl Blossfeldt 020

#20 Karl Blossfeldt Catchfly, flower

$80.00

Karl Blossfeldt 021

#21 Karl Blossfeldt Solitary clematis, flower

$50.00

Karl Blossfeldt 022

#22 Karl Blossfeldt Monbretia, tritonia, fruiting panicle, wheat

$50.00

Karl Blossfeldt 023

#23 Karl Blossfeldt Red-veined maple, twig w/ leaf buds

$100.00

Karl Blossfeldt 024

#24 Karl Blossfeldt Roof houseleek, Cephalaria, young shoot

$50.00

Karl Blossfeldt 025

#25 Karl Blossfeldt Brass buttons, fruit

$100.00

Karl Blossfeldt 026

#26 Karl Blossfeldt Common cosmos, sepals

$80.00

Karl Blossfeldt 027

#27 Karl Blossfeldt Common hound’s tongue, fruit-bearing spike

$80.00

Karl Blossfeldt 028

#28 Karl Blossfeldt Love-in-a-mist, sepals

$100.00

Karl Blossfeldt 029

#29 Karl Blossfeldt Pyrenees monkshood

$240.00

Karl Blossfeldt 030

#30 Karl Blossfeldt Ox-eye daisy, woundwort, flower bud

$50.00

Karl Blossfeldt 031

#31 Karl Blossfeldt Scabious, empty head

$50.00

Karl Blossfeldt 032

#32 Karl Blossfeldt Tansy chrysanthemum, part of an umbel

$50.00

Karl Blossfeldt 033

#33 Karl Blossfeldt Knapweed, capitulum

$100.00

Karl Blossfeldt 034

#34 Karl Blossfeldt Horehound, seed head

$50.00

Karl Blossfeldt 035

#35 Karl Blossfeldt Fuller’s teasel, capitulum

$100.00

Karl Blossfeldt 036

#36 Karl Blossfeldt Hop-tree, branch w/ cluster of fruits

$100.00

Karl Blossfeldt 037

#37 Karl Blossfeldt Blumenbachia, closed seed capsule

$100.00

Karl Blossfeldt 038

#38 Karl Blossfeldt Scabious family, capitulum

$100.00

Karl Blossfeldt 039

#39 Karl Blossfeldt Globeflower, fruit

$100.00

Karl Blossfeldt 040

#40 Karl Blossfeldt Larkspur, dried leaves

$80.00

Karl Blossfeldt 041

#41 Karl Blossfeldt Norway spruce, tip without needles

$80.00

Karl Blossfeldt 042

#42 Karl Blossfeldt Flowering dogwood, capitulum

$80.00

Karl Blossfeldt 043

#43 Karl Blossfeldt Knapweed, capitulum

$100.00

Karl Blossfeldt 044

#44 Karl Blossfeldt Common comfrey

$80.00

Karl Blossfeldt 045

#45 Karl Blossfeldt Spurred bellflower, flower

$100.00

Karl Blossfeldt 046

#46 Karl Blossfeldt Night-flowering campion

$100.00

Karl Blossfeldt 047

#47 Karl Blossfeldt High bush blueberry

$80.00

Karl Blossfeldt 048

#48 Karl Blossfeldt Poppy, seed capsule

$100.00

Karl Blossfeldt 049

#49 Karl Blossfeldt High bush blueberry, flower

$80.00

Karl Blossfeldt 050

#50 Karl Blossfeldt Blumenbachia, open seed capsule

$50.00

Karl Blossfeldt 051

#51 Karl Blossfeldt Aizoon saxifrage, rosette of leaves

$50.00

Karl Blossfeldt 052

#52 Karl Blossfeldt Heath family, flower

$50.00

Karl Blossfeldt 053

#53 Karl Blossfeldt Canterbury bell, flower

$50.00

Karl Blossfeldt 054

#54 Karl Blossfeldt Cowslip primrose

$80.00

Karl Blossfeldt 055

#55 Karl Blossfeldt Bellflower, flower w/ petals removed

$80.00

Karl Blossfeldt 056

#56 Karl Blossfeldt Meadow sage

$100.00

Karl Blossfeldt 057

#57 Karl Blossfeldt Sea holly, eryngo, bracts and capitulum

$50.00

Karl Blossfeldt 058

#58 Karl Blossfeldt Sandwort, leaf cushion

$50.00