Karl Blossfeldt

Ashley Wang

Karl Blossfeldt was born on June 13, 1865 in Schielo, a village in the Harz district of Germany. From the year 1881 to 1884, he studied sculpture and did apprenticeship in an artistic form of iron casting at the Art Ironworks and Foundry in Magdesprung, Germany.

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Just like his father, Karl was inspired by nature and his artistic endeavors were directed towards capturing how plants grow. He believed that ‘the plant must be valued as a totally artistic and architectural structure.’

His photographs were unique in the way that they were highly enlarged and showed the subject in its essence, highlighting its structure and beauty. This microphotography made the plants exhibit exotic characteristics like never before.

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The uniqueness of his close up photography was discovered by a gallery owner and in 1926 they were exhibited in Berlin. In 1928, when Karl was 63 years old, his first book containing 120 of his original photographs was published under the title ‘Urformen der Kunst’ (Art Forms in Nature).

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