Symphytum officinale

Accession Number

Symphytum officinale

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 depicts a closeup view of the fronds of a common comfrey plant. It sprouts up the middle of the frame and spreads its little buds outwards in a fan-like array. The surface of the plant's skin is covered in a myriad tiny bristles, lending its surface an almost fuzzy appearance. Using a handmade camera with a powerful magnifying lens, Blossfeldt was able to create richly detailed photographs of botanical specimens such as this. 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 plants and flowers. 

Physical Description
This photograph depicts a closeup view of a plant against a light background.  

Primary Object Classification

Additional Object Classification(s)

Collection Area

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Plantae (kingdom)
botanical illustrations
flowers (plant components)
plant fiber
scientific illustrations (images)

5 Related Resources

Nature in Photography
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Family Art High-Contrast Photography Portfolio 
(Part of: Image Portfolios about Photography)
W24 Barry - ENVIRON 244: Art in Nature: Micro to Macro
(Part of: Examples of Online Activities)
CC 2 - MSE and Micro/Macro Worlds - natural structures, self symmetry, biomimicry
(Part of: CC 2 - Materials Science and Engineering)
SP21 Barry - ENVIRON 244: Art in Nature: Micro to Macro
(Part of: Examples of Online Activities)

& Author Notes

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