Alexander von Humboldt

Portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler (1843)
Humboldt as a boy with his widowed mother, Maria Elisabeth (Colomb) von Humboldt
The Tegel Palace, Berlin, where Alexander and his brother Wilhelm lived for several years
Schiller, Wilhelm, and Alexander von Humboldt with Goethe in Jena
Alexander von Humboldt's Latin American expedition
Charles IV of Spain who authorized Humboldt's travels and research in Spanish America
Portrait of Alexander von Humboldt by Friedrich Georg Weitsch, 1806
Humboldt and Aimé Bonpland were in the Amazon rainforest by the Casiquiare River, with their scientific instruments, which enabled them to take many types of accurate measurements throughout their five-year journey. Oil painting by Eduard Ender, 1856.
Map of the Cassiquiare canal based on Humboldt's 1799 observations
Humboldt botanical drawing published in his work on Cuba
Humboldt and his fellow scientist Aimé Bonpland near the foot of the Chimborazo volcano, painting by Friedrich Georg Weitsch (1810)
Silver mining complex of La Valenciana, Guanajuato, Mexico
Basalt prisms at Santa María Regla, Mexico by Alexander von Humboldt, published in Vue des Cordillères et monuments des peuples indigènes de l'Amérique
Aztec calendar stone
Dresden Codex, later identified as a Maya manuscript, published in part by Humboldt in 1810
1804 Map of the Louisiana Territory. Jefferson and his cabinet sought information from Humboldt when he visited Washington, D.C., about Spain's territory in Mexico, now bordering the U.S.
Humboldt depicted by American artist Charles Willson Peale, 1805, who met Humboldt when he visited the U.S. in 1804
Humboldt's Naturgemälde, also known as the Chimborazo Map, is his depiction of the volcanoes Chimborazo and Cotopaxi in cross section, with detailed information about plant geography. The illustration was published in The Geography of Plants, 1807, in a large format (54 cm x 84 cm). Largely used for global warming analyses, this map depicts in fact the vegetation of another volcano: the Antisana.
Isothermal map of the world using Humboldt's data by William Channing Woodbridge
Humboldt's depiction of an Andean condor, an example of his detailed drawing
Humboldt in Berlin 1807
Map of Humboldt's expedition to Russia in 1829
Photograph of Humboldt in his later years
Muisca numerals as noted by Humboldt
Humboldt, portrait by Henry William Pickersgill (1831)
Frederic Edwin Church, The Heart of the Andes (1859)
Humboldt's seal on a private letter
Portrait of Humboldt by Julius Schrader, 1859. Metropolitan Museum of Art
Humboldt in his library in his apartment, Oranienburger Straße, Berlin, by Eduard Hildebrandt
Signature of Humboldt late in life, when his handwriting became increasingly difficult to read
Humboldt University of Berlin
House where Humboldt and Bonpland lived in Mexico City in 1803, located at 80 Rep. de Uruguay in the historic centre, just south of the Zocalo
Statue to Humboldt in Alameda Park, Mexico City, erected 1999 on the two hundredth-anniversary of the beginning of his travels to Spanish America
Statue of Humboldt in Cuernavaca, Mexico
Waterfall over the Basaltic Prisms of Santa María Regla, Huasca de Ocampo, Hidalgo, Mexico, that Humboldt sketched
Ferdinand Bellermann, Rooster Salesman
Ferdinand Bellermann, Colonia Tovar
Ferdinand Bellermann, Sugar Plantation near Puerto Cabello
Ferdinand Bellermann. Llaneros (1843). Venezuela.<ref>Achenbach, Kunst um Humboldt, cat. 96, p. 141.</ref>
Eduard Hildebrandt, Passage with Indians (Brazil)
Frederic Edwin Church, Cotopaxi, (1855)
Frederic Edwin Church, Cotopaxi, 1855
Frederic Edwin Church, Cotopaxi (1862) (in eruption)
Humboldt penguin, native to Chile and Peru
Humboldt squid found in the Humboldt Current
Quercus humboldtii, an Andean oak
Humboldt Current
Pico Humboldt, Venezuela
1959 postage stamp from the Soviet Union
Bust at the University of Havana
Statue in Budapester Straße, Berlin
Statue in Humboldt Park, Chicago
Statue in Allegheny West Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Statue at Humboldt University of Berlin, describing him as "the second discoverer of Cuba"
Bust in Central Park, New York
Statue in Alameda Central, Mexico City
Monument in Parque El Ejido, Quito, Ecuador
Humboldt, part of a sculpture in Cologne, Germany
Statue in Tower Grove Park, St. Louis<ref>Andreas W. Daum, "Celebrating Humanism in St. Louis: The Origins of the Humboldt Statue in Tower Grove Park, 1859‒1878." Gateway Heritage: Quarterly Magazine of the Missouri Historical Society (Fall 1994), 48-58.</ref>

German polymath, geographer, naturalist, explorer, and proponent of Romantic philosophy and science.

- Alexander von Humboldt

500 related topics


Carl Ludwig Willdenow

German botanist, pharmacist, and plant taxonomist.

Willdenow was also a mentor of Alexander von Humboldt, one of the earliest and best known phytogeographers.


Study of the distribution of species and ecosystems in geographic space and through geological time.

Frontispiece to Alfred Russel Wallace's book The Geographical Distribution of Animals
Edward O. Wilson, a prominent biologist and conservationist, coauthored The Theory of Island Biogeography and helped to start much of the research that has been done on this topic since the work of Watson and Wallace almost a century before
Schematic distribution of fossils on Pangea according to Wegener
Distribution of four Permian and Triassic fossil groups used as biogeographic evidence for continental
drift, and land bridging
Biogeographic regions of Europe

The scientific theory of biogeography grows out of the work of Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859), Francisco Jose de Caldas (1768-1816), Hewett Cottrell Watson (1804–1881), Alphonse de Candolle (1806–1893), Alfred Russel Wallace (1823–1913), Philip Lutley Sclater (1829–1913) and other biologists and explorers.

Georg Forster

German naturalist, ethnologist, travel writer, journalist and revolutionary.

Georg Forster at age 26, by J. H. W. Tischbein, 1781
James Cook, portrait by Nathaniel Dance, c. 1775, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich
Resolution and Adventure in Matavai Bay by William Hodges
One of Forster's many illustrations of birds now extinct, the Tanna ground dove, also known as Forster's dove of Tanna
The house in which Georg Forster lived during his time in Mainz, with a commemorative plaque next to the door
One of the entrances of Cologne Cathedral, which was praised in Ansichten vom Niederrhein
A liberty pole, a symbol of revolutionary France as used in the Republic of Mainz. Watercolor by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
"The Pinnacle of Liberty", a satire by James Gillray
Johann Reinhold Forster and Georg Forster, by John Francis Rigaud, London 1780. The plant in the brim of the hat is a Forstera sedifolia and the bird in Johann Forster's hand a New Zealand bellbird, locating the scene in New Zealand. However, the painting has been commonly called "Reinhold and George Forster at Tahiti" or similar.

His ideas, travelogues and personality influenced Alexander von Humboldt, one of the great scientists of the 19th century.

Freiberg University of Mining and Technology

Public university of technology with about 4,300 students in the city of Freiberg, Saxony, Germany.

TU Bergakademie campus, April 2007

The polymath Alexander von Humboldt studied mining at the Bergakademie from 1791 to 1792, as did the poet Novalis from 1797 to 1799.

Johann Friedrich Blumenbach

German physician, naturalist, physiologist, and anthropologist.

Johann Friedrich Blumenbach
Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, engraving by Ludwig Emil Grimm.
Blumenbach's five races.

Blumenbach's peers considered him one of the great theorists of his day, and he was a mentor or influence on many of the next generation of German biologists, including Alexander von Humboldt.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

German poet, playwright, novelist, scientist, statesman, theatre director, and critic.

Goethe in 1828, by Joseph Karl Stieler
Goethe's birthplace in Frankfurt (Großer Hirschgraben)
Anna Katharina (Käthchen) Schönkopf
Goethe in c. 1775
Goethe, age 38, painted by Angelica Kauffman 1787
A Goethe watercolour depicting a liberty pole at the border to the short-lived Republic of Mainz, created under influence of the French Revolution and destroyed in the Siege of Mainz in which Goethe participated
Goethe, by Luise Seidler (Weimar 1811)
Ulrike von Levetzow
Goethe and Ulrike, sculpture by Heinrich Drake in Marienbad
Coffins of Goethe and Schiller, Weimar vault
First edition of The Sorrows of Young Werther
1876 'Faust' by Goethe, decorated by Rudolf Seitz, large German edition 51x38cm
Goethe–Schiller Monument, Weimar (1857)
Goethe in the Roman Campagna (1786) by Tischbein
Goethe in 1810. Gerhard von Kügelgen
Light spectrum, from Theory of Colours. Goethe observed that with a prism, colour arises at light-dark edges, and the spectrum occurs where these coloured edges overlap.
Goethe on a 1999 German stamp
Portrait of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe by Ferdinand Jagemann, 1806
Statue dedicated to Goethe in Chicago's Lincoln Park (1913)
Second Goetheanum
Mendelssohn plays to Goethe, 1830: painting by Moritz Oppenheim, 1864
Goethe memorial in front of the Alte Handelsbörse, Leipzig
Schiller, Alexander and Wilhelm von Humboldt, and Goethe in Jena, c. 1797

His conversations and various shared undertakings throughout the 1790s with Schiller, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Johann Gottfried Herder, Alexander von Humboldt, Wilhelm von Humboldt, and August and Friedrich Schlegel have come to be collectively termed Weimar Classicism.

Aimé Bonpland

Humboldt and Bonpland at the Chimborazo base
Humboldt and Bonpland in the Amazon rainforest

Aimé Jacques Alexandre Bonpland (August 1773 – May 1858) was a French explorer and botanist who traveled with Alexander von Humboldt in Latin America from 1799 to 1804.

Natural history

Domain of inquiry involving organisms, including animals, fungi, and plants, in their natural environment, leaning more towards observational than experimental methods of study.

Tables of natural history, from Ephraim Chambers's 1728 Cyclopaedia.
A natural history collection in a French public secondary school
Blackberry from the sixth-century Vienna Dioscurides manuscript
Georges Buffon is best remembered for his Histoire naturelle, a 44-volume encyclopedia describing quadrupeds, birds, minerals, and some science and technology. Reptiles and fish were covered in supplements by Bernard Germain de Lacépède.
The monument of Jan Czekanowski, a president of Polish Copernicus Society of Naturalists (1923–1924), in Szczecin, Poland

The understanding of "Nature" as "an organism and not as a mechanism" can be traced to the writings of Alexander von Humboldt (Prussia, 1769–1859).

Meteor shower

Celestial event in which a number of meteors are observed to radiate, or originate, from one point in the night sky.

Four-hour time lapse exposure of the sky
Leonids from space
Diagram from 1872
Meteor shower on chart
Comet Encke's meteoroid trail is the diagonal red glow
Meteoroid trail between fragments of Comet 73P
Meteor Shower Calendar shows the peak dates, Radiant Point, ZHR, and Origins of the meteors. Plan your meteor shower night out using this infographic calendar that will help you chose the best one as per your preferences. Clear skies.
Mars meteor by MER Spirit rover

Meteors were conceived as an atmospheric phenomenon by many scientists (Alexander von Humboldt, Adolphe Quetelet, Julius Schmidt) until the Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli ascertained the relation between meteors and comets in his work "Notes upon the astronomical theory of the falling stars" (1867). In the 1890s, Irish astronomer George Johnstone Stoney (1826–1911) and British astronomer Arthur Matthew Weld Downing (1850–1917) were the first to attempt to calculate the position of the dust at Earth's orbit.

Cosmos (Humboldt book)

Humboldt and his Kosmos (1843), Joseph Karl Stieler
Alexander von Humboldt's Latin American expedition
A portrait of Humboldt by Friedrich Georg Weitsch, 1806
A portrait of Humboldt greeting death, by Wilhelm von Kaulbach, 1869
Humboldt statue at the Humboldt University of Berlin.

Cosmos: A Sketch of a Physical Description of the Universe (in German Kosmos – Entwurf einer physischen Weltbeschreibung) is an influential treatise on science and nature written by the German scientist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt.