Ptelea trifoliata

Accession Number

Ptelea trifoliata

Karl Blossfeldt

Artist Nationality
German (culture or style)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
rotogravure on paper

9 5/16 in x 12 1/8 in (23.65 cm x 30.8 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Eeta Gershow

Subject matter
This photograph displays a closeup view of the seed pods of a wafer ash plant resting against a blank background. Extending from the bottom right corner of the frame, a bifurcated twig protrudes up into the center of the image bearing a group of dried seed pods. The pods are each circularly shaped, the outlines of the seeds are visible through the light encasings of skin. The pods droop slightly downwards, with the exception of one, which is raised above the others and casts a slight shadow on the wall behind it. Positioned in front of a powerful magnifying lens, these pods were enlarged six times their size, rendering their textures in crisp detail. Printed in matte, green-black tones, this image originally appeared in the books, Urformen der Kunst  (1928) and Art Forms in Nature (1929), and accompanied other closeup views of botanical specimens. 

Physical Description
This photograph depicts a closeup view of a plant's seed pods positioned against a light background.  

Primary Object Classification

Additional Object Classification(s)

Collection Area

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Rutaceae (family)
botanical illustrations
flowers (plant components)
natural history specimens
plant material
pod (seed material)
scientific illustrations (images)
stem (plant material)

2 Related Resources

Nature in Photography
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Family Art High-Contrast Photography Portfolio 
(Part of: Image Portfolios about Photography)

& Author Notes

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