Revelations of science: discussing images of prenatal development by Ernst Haeckel and Lennart Nilsson


  • Matylda Szewczyk Uniwersytet Warszawski


Słowa kluczowe:

Ernst Haeckel, Lennart Nilsson, fetal images, embryo images, pregnancy


The paper discusses images of prenatal development created by Ernst Haeckel and Lennart Nilsson. Despite the obvious differences between a 19th-century biologist and philosopher of nature and a 20th-century photographer, substantial similarities exist in the way their respective narrations situate embryos and fetuses within the cultural realm. The paper traces the processes of creating the representations of stages of embryogenesis and the controversies surrounding them, analyzes the discursive frame within which the images are produced and function, and discusses their media specificity. It also examines the metaphysical ambitions surrounding the process of producing embryo- and fetal identities and the relation of these identities to the important cultural characteristics of their historical epochs.


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Szewczyk, M. (2019). Revelations of science: discussing images of prenatal development by Ernst Haeckel and Lennart Nilsson. Panoptikum, (21), 95–115.