Henri's berichten over zijn recente activiteiten

Henri's reports on his recent activities


Personal website: http://members.ziggo.nl/here

maandag 27 mei 2013

Leopold Blaschka's 191th birthday



Today is the 191th birthday of  Leopold Blaschka. To commemorate him, I like to share some of his own words with you. 

The following quote from Leopold Blaschka, in which he describes his experiences at sea in 1853, was recorded by his son Rudolf in his 1880 article:  
“Hydroidquallen oder Craspedoten,”  Sitzungsberichte und Abhandlungen der Naturwissenschaftlichen Gesellschaft Isis in Dresden, H. I & 2, 1880.

 "Wir befinden uns auf einem Segelschiffe im atlantischen Ocean, durch Windstille festgebannt; es ist eine schöne Mainacht. Hoffend blicken wir in das Dunkel des spiegelglatten Meeres hinaus: da entsteht ringsum ein blitzartiges Leuchten an verschiedenen Stellen, wie von tausenden Funken, welche wahre Feuergarben bilden und andere hellleuchtende Punkte, wie scheinbar abgespiegelte Sterne umgeben. Da taucht dicht vor uns ein Pünktchen in grellgrünlichem Lichte auf, welches immer größer und größer wird und endlich eine hellleuchtende sonnenartige Figur bildet. Die feinen Strahlen derselben scheinen in dem Funkenmeere zu wühlen, es entsteht eine zweite, dritte; zehn, hundert solcher Sonnen leuchten in gemessener Entfernung aus den eigenthümlich glitzernden Zwischenräumen hervor, hellleuchtende Ringe bilden sonderbar geformte Figuren, dazwischen giebt es Stellen in glühendem Lichte, es entsteht ein unbeschreiblich schönes Schauspiel." ..."es ist, als wollten sie den entzückten Beobachter in ein Feenreich locken."


This delicate text is on of my favorites. I translated  it from German to English:

 “We are on a sailing ship in the Atlantic Ocean, immobilized because of the calm; it is a beautiful night in May. Hopefully we look over the darkness of the sea, which is as smooth as a mirror: In various places there emerges all around a flashlike bundle of light beams, like thousands of sparks, that form true bundles of fire and of other bright lighting spots, as if they are surrounded by mirrored stars.There emerges close before us a small spot in a sharp-greenish light, which becomes ever larger and larger and finally forms a bright, shining sunlike figure. Its fine second one develops, a third; ten, a hundred of these suns light up at a certain distance from the peculiarly sparkling intervals, bright lighting circles form strangely formed figures, with in-between places in a glowing light. An indescribably beautiful scene originates"... "it is as if they wanted to lure the enchanted observer into a realm of fairies."
Although I did not publish my manuscript on the development of the Blaschkas as modelmakers, this fragment became a rather popular quote.  Recently, it surfaced in the May 6, 2013 edition of the New York Times

dinsdag 7 mei 2013

Underwater landscape of Crespo Island



I took the illustration  “Underwater landscape of Crespo Island” from the 1871 edition of Vingt mille lieues sous les mers (Twenty thousand leagues under the seas), by Jules Verne, illustrated by Édouard Riou and Alphonse de Neuville.

Blaschka meets Verne, Watercolour  2013 (c. 50x70 cm)

Underwater landscape of Crespo Islan
(book illustration)
This image served as an incentive to create a new underwater fantasy.
It features Blaschka animals, that seem to feel very much at home in Verne’s environment.