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Acanthus mollis by Karl Blossfeldt on the Depict FrameAcanthus mollis by Karl Blossfeldt
Acanthus mollis by Karl Blossfeldt

Acanthus mollis, 1928

Karl Blossfeldt

This acanthus plant, with its tall, straight stem and spiky, black-tipped leaves looks like a botanical drawing, but in fact it’s a photograph of the plant magnified to a surreal scale. The plant’s symmetry seems almost too perfect to be real. Self-taught German photographer Blossfeldt was inspired by the way plants grow, and tried to reveal a plant’s “artistic and architectural structure” through his work. Blossfeldt made many of his photographs with a homemade camera that could magnify the subject up to thirty times scale, making unprecedented images that emphasized a plant's underlying design.

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