Dodel-Port Atlas - released between 1878 & 1883
"Living nature is the best teacher and pedagogue; an artistic medium of representation tries to replace nature and this can be possible in practice only if the images are true to natural objects. [..]
We had in mind not only the needs of Hochschule, but also those of the Mittelschule. Pupils of different age mainly have been served badly in regard to schematic representations of all kinds, so that it is actually difficult for them to gain a correct underestanding of natural living things... Accordingly, the 'Anatomisch physiologische Atlas der Botanik' will be designed to be used at every level of botanical teaching and in every branch of botanical knowledge. [..]
Natural, scientifically reliable wall charts can replace a natural object in classroom teaching and in lectures; they are more enlightening than the spoken word." [Arnold and Carolina Dodel-Port, 1883]
The flask-shaped female organ in lower order plants (mosses for instance)^ containing the ovum or female gamete at its base. I presume this illustration series shows fertilisation occurring.
Arnold Dodel (1843-1908) was a Swiss-German botanist who held professorships at Swiss universities where he studied plant reproduction and algal species and he founded a botanical microscopy laboratory at the University of Zurich.
Dodel was a prolific author of popular educational works on plants and an enthusiastic supporter of socialism. He was a regular correspondent with the eminent German biologist-artist, Ernst Haeckel, as well as Charles Darwin. Dodel was an early and vocal advocate for the Theory of Evolution (see).
Dodel married Carolina Port in 1875 and she contributed a large number of the illustrations to the series displayed above. He was subsequently known as Arnold Dodel-Port.
The Dodel-Port Atlas consists of 42 botanical teaching charts published from 1878 to 1893. Two sources were used for the images seen above. Complete sets of the lithographic plates appear to be rare.
- All 42 plates from the Dodel-Port Atlas are accessible via the European Library (these are the plates above with black borders) - the original works and digital files are owned by the National and Royal Library of The Netherlands.
- The balance (majority) of the illustrations above were sourced from the Historic Charts Collection at New Zealand's McGregor Museum (University of Auckland).
- Scotland's University of Dundee Museum scientific chart collections.
- In passing: a short review with photos from a U Dundee 'Plant Life' exhibition in 2009.
- Books by Dodel-Port : Googlebooks | Amazon | Worldcat.
- There is little in the way of background information easily available online about Dodel-Port but one significant recent book appears to place his contributions in context on the historical timeline of graphical teaching : 'Visual Cultures of Science: Rethinking Representational Practices in Knowledge Building and Science Communication', edited by Luc Pauwels, was published in 2005 and sounds impressive.
- Thanks variously to Will Schofield & Scientific Illustration.
- Previously: 19th Century Wall Charts -<>- Dutch Botanical Wall Charts -<>- Wageningen Wall Charts. [science | flora]