Dinosaurs, Ancient Plant Life, Prehistoric Animals

(The amazing depictions by Heinrich Harder in his paintings)

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The Wonderful Paleo Art of
Heinrich Harder  (1858-1935)

Heinrich Harder Paleontology Artist and Paintings

Heinrich Harder was born in 1858 and lived in the Northeast part of Germany, where he studied painting under Eugen Bracht. Living mainly as a painter and selling his landscapes, he also provided illustrations of animals for books. He took on some students around 1906. That same year Harder did a series of illustrations for the Naturalist Wilhelm Bolsche, who wrote a short history of the planet earth. The articles appeared in the weekly family magazine Die Gartenlaube. When the Berlin Zoo added an Aquarium in 1913, Harder was commissioned to paint murals of extinct creatures around the perimeter walls. He also created relief sculptures of some of the animals as well. The main entrance to the new Aquarium was adorned with a life sized Iquanodon sculpture by Harder. The Reichardt Cocoa company had been issuing a series of collector cards of prehistoric animals and Harder was recruited to illustrate two series of them, for a total of 60 illustrations.  Wilhelm Bolsche wrote the description of the creatures for the back of the card. Harder also illustrated a book by Bolsche, Tierwanderungen in der Urwelt in 1915. Harder went on to become an art professor at the Berlin University.

Click on a sample picture to see all the small previews from that source. Then click on any picture to see a larger version.

Brontosaurs by Heinrich Harder

Earth History Illustrations from the 1906 articles in Die Gartenlaube

Pteranodon by Heinrich Harder

Prehistoric Animal Murals and Sculptures for the Berlin Aquarium

Iguanodon by Heinrich Harder

The 30 collector cards from Tiere der Urwelt (Animals of the Prehistoric World) Series Ia (from a set inscribed 1916)

Glyptodont by Heinrich Harder

Prehistoric Animals from 1908 in Tierbuch by Wilhelm Bolsche

Mosasaurus and Ichthyosaurs by Heinrich Harder

Illustrations for Die Wunder der Urwelt 1912

Arsinotherium by Heinrich Harder

The 30 collector cards from Tiere der Urwelt (Animals of the Prehistoric World) Series III (date unknown, probably around 1920)

It's interesting to realize that Harder worked about 100 years ago, without the aid of any graphic computers or programs to help with any layout. There was no such thing as an ergonomic desk for artists, just regular ol' desks and easels which makes the level of detail and attention spent on these paintings truly amazing.


1.   Lorenz, Detlef Kunstlerspuren in Berlin vom Barock bis heute 2002 pg 260
2.   http://www.aquarium-berlin.de/verstehen/ueber-das-aquarium/geschichte.html
3.   http://www.aquarium-berlin.de/erleben/themenfuehrungen/historische-fassaden.html
4.   Bolsche, Wilhelm  Zeichnungen von Heinrich Harder Various articles in Die Gartenlaube 1906 Issue 14, 16, 18, 22, 26, 29
5.   Scientific American Supplement Nov. 1, 1913 The New Berlin Aquarium pg 276
6.   Bolsche, Wilhelm  Tiere der Urwelt  Zeichnungen von Heinrich Harder Series Ia 1-30
7.   Bolsche, Wilhelm  Tiere der Urwelt  Zeichnungen von Heinrich Harder Series III 1-30
8.   Bolsche, Wilhelm  Tierwanderungen in der Urwelt 1914  Zeichnungen von Heinrich Harder
9.   Bolsche, Wilhelm  Tierbuch 1908 Zeichnungen von Heinrich Harder
10. Mitwirkung, Unter  Die Wunder der Urwelt 1912

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