Darwin’s Evolution: A New Gallery of Images

Darwin’s Evolution: Image Gallery

Introduction: From Aristotle to Erasmus Darwin

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Pliny the Elder died on Vesuvius (N.I.H.)       Darwin’s Fly-trap (Botanic Garden, 1794, author copy)


I. The Natural Historians: Linnaeus, Merian, Buffon, Cuvier, Catesby, Bartram, and Others

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Metamorphosis from The Aurelian (Moses Harris, 1766); Mark Catesby’s Ivory-billed woodpecker, (Natural History of Carolina, 1731-43)

(From an English Edition of Buffon’s System of Natural History, 1821)

II. Venus Fly-traps, Sensitive Plants, and the Great Chain of Being

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Student drawing, 1829 (Dickinson Special Collections)         Mimosa by Kitagawa Sosetsu

“The Great Chain of Being” (From Didacus Valades, Rhetorica Christiana, 1579)

III. Erasmus Darwin and “Organic Life Beneath the Ocean Waves”

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Wordsworth and Shelley were directly influenced by Charles Darwin’s grandfather: (Curtis, Botanic Garden, 1789: author’s collection)

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The portly country doctor (Joseph Wright of Derby) and his first statement of evolution (Temple of Nature, author’s collection)

IV. Luigi Galvani, Giovanni Aldini, and Electric Romanticism

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Galvani portrait                                         Galvani’s frog-legs laboratory (De Viribus electricitatus, 1791)

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Galvani’s nephew, Giovanni Aldini, extended electrical experiments to human cadavers (left) and cows (Galvanism, 1803, 1819)

V. Amphibious Thinking and Humanity’s Reptile Relatives

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Amphibians (Goldsmith’s Animated Nature, 1774)   Frog-fish of Surinam (Universal Magazine, 1776)


Rhinoceroses seemed like creatures from another world; top (Goldsmith, Animated Nature 1774), bottom (Barr, Buffon 1792)

Crocodiles and alligators seemed like dinosaurs come to life (Goldsmith, History of Earth and Animated Nature, 1774)

VI. Monkeys, Men, and Man-Apes

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Captive mangabey (Jardine, Natural History of Monkeys 1833); Familial gorillas, Wood’s Natural History (1898)

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A human-looking monkey’s paw (Jardine, 1833)

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“Man of the Woods,” orangutan (Goldsmith, Animated Nature 1774) and humanized monkey skeleton from Buffon (1792)

VII. Global Exploration and New Forms of Nature

Maria Sibylla Merian (Metamorphosis of the Insects of Surinam, 1705)

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Chief Mouina (David Porter, Journal 1814); Bartram described strange North American species (Travels, 1791)

VIII. Geological Poets and the Fossil Record

The fossil record added confusion to speculation about the biological past (J. G. Heck, Iconographic Encyclopedia 1851)

Mary Anning with the first plesiosaur, Lyme Regis cliffs in Dorset (Dan Quinsey, Discovering Fossils 2006)

IX. Charles Darwin in the Galapagos

H. M. S. Beagle painted by Owen Stanley in 1841

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Darwin’s finches as he drew them                        Darwin’s giant tortoise from Galapagos Journal (author copies, 1890)

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Galapagos marine iguana, a rare ocean-going reptile (author photo);                  Blue-footed booby made Darwin laugh (author photo)

X. The Debate Begins: Separate Creation or Origin of Species?

Darwin portrait                                         Darwin’s head on chimpanzee’s body, with whom he shares 99% genes (Hornet magazine 1871)

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Thomas Henry Huxley (Vanity Fair 1860), captioned “Ape”; Huxley’s Evidence as to Man’s Place in Nature (1863)

Conclusion: Two Hundred Years of Evolutionary Thinking

Gregor Mendel’s pea-pods helped to explain precisely how evolution works; portrait; peas from the Album Benary (1876-93)

Audubon’s eagle in Birds of America (1840)      Judge John Jones (Dickinson ’77), “The Judge Who Ruled for Darwin” (Scientists and Thinkers, 2006)

Shells, sea-urchin spines, fossils, shards of lava, bones from fish and birds are crushed and combined to form colorful sand in the Galapagos Islands. Every living thing and nonliving thing returns its chemical and molecular parts to the natural cycle. (author photo)

–Ashton Nichols (2008)–

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