September 17, 2010


These botanical photogravures by Karl Blossfeldt are as simple and as chic as Irving Penn's Flowers. Invented in 1879, the photogravure technique involved a complex process of photographically transferring an image to a metal plate, etching to the plate and printing from it. Blossfeldt used a home-made camera to photograph these plant forms after years collecting them in Italy, Greece and North Africa. His camera could magnify the image up to thirty times, creating this extraordinary detail with an amazing range of grays and warm blacks. From 1898 to 1931, Blossfeldt was a professor in the sculpture of living plants at the College of Arts + Crafts {Kunstgewerbemuseum} in Berlin, where he incorporated these plant studies into his teaching. Many artists and architects of this period used Blossfeldt's forms to-scale on small ornamental ironworks and for the shapes of entire buildings. I just love these wonderful prints that are for sale here.


  1. This are so beautiful! I bet a few in a quad or 3 in a row would be gorgeous. Happy weekend!

  2. Absolutely Jaime! Have a great weekend ; )

  3. I have always loved Karl's works of art.... they are stunning!!

    Have you entered my New Giveaway from the French Basketeer... I think you will love it!

    Art by Karena

  4. Hi Karena... thank you for visiting! I just realized that I do not have your blog on my reads and I've added it. I'm heading over to Art by Karena to take a look now. Have a wonderful weekend! ; ) Barbara

  5. Hi Barbara,
    I did not know the extent that he went to in order to get the look here. I thought he just was a masterful photographer. I had first seen them at Panteek but did not know much about him. As usual when I visit you I always learn something interesting.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  6. Thanks dear Lisa!! I'd love to know how he made his camera. Have a great afternoon ; )


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