Anna Atkins

Blue Prints



ISBN: 9783777438283 Category:

Rolf Sachsse


The English illustrator Anna Atkins (1799-1871) was in every respect a modern woman. For the publication of her plant collections she used the latest technology, the recently invented cyanotype. In 1843 she used the process to create the first photo book in history, with images of breathtaking beauty and originality which often look like modern art.

At first Anna Atkins worked for and with her father, the zoologist John George Children; later she chose the objects for her scientific compositions herself: algae and ferns. Atkins placed them on light-sensitive paper that turned dark blue in water after being developed, with the exception of the places that had been covered by the plants. Initially alone, and then with her friend Anne Dixon, she produced well over 10,000 copies of her photograms and assembled them in several books like albums. Today these rare copies are regarded as treasures and are preserved in museums and libraries.

Additional information

Weight 264 g
Dimensions 14.5 x 21.3 cm
Publisher name Hirmer Verlag GmbH
Publication date 21 April 2022
Number of pages 72
Format Hardback
Dimensions 14.5 x 21.3 cm
Weight 264 g


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Rolf Sachsse is a German photographer, author and professor. Born 1949 in Bonn/Germany, trained by Karl-Hugo Schmoelz and Walde Huth in Cologne as a photographer with specialization in advertising, architectural, and industrial photography, he worked in these fields for several years to finance further studies. He studied art history, communication research, and German literature in Munich and Bonn. PhD on the history of architectural photography in Germany 1900-1975, 1983.

Sachsse worked as head of a building preservation campaign concerned with 19th century interiors, 1978/79. He was a freelance writer, exhibition maker, and artist between 1975 and 1990. Member of the Artist Placement Group, London from 1978 to 1984. Since then he has been a freelance author, photographer, curator, consultant.

1985 - 2004 Professor of Photography and (since 1993) Electronic Image Media at the Niederrhein University of Applied Science in Krefeld. 1994/95 Professor of Art History in charge of Hans Belting, since 1995 Associate Professor in the Department of Art History and Media Theory at the Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe. Awarded an Honorary Diploma of the Academy of Arts in Uzbekistan, Tashkent, 2000. 2002 Guest professor in Theories of Design at the Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe. 2004-17 seat in Design history and Design theory at the Saar University of Fine Arts, Saarbruecken, 2013-17 Pro-rector for Academic Affairs. Since 2018, lecturer at the University of Bonn.

He lives in Bonn.