Max Klinger (German, 1857–1920), Battling Centaurs (Kämpfende Centauren), plate 5 from Intermezzi, Opus IV, 1881. Etching and aquatint on paper. Clark Art Institute, 1986.29
Whether traveling into the depths of the earth or over its seas, into its highest mountains or deepest forests, Jules Verne transported his readers into the unknown. Familiar to us through the continued publication of his novels, Verne’s tales coexisted with artistic renderings of mysterious landscapes inhabited by mythical creatures. Some artists, like Max Klinger, invoked mythology to engage with Charles Darwin’s newly published On the Origin of Species (1859) while others, such as Charles Marie Dulac, attempted to reveal the spiritual in the natural world.

The majority of the works in this section of the exhibition have been selected from larger portfolios of related images inspired by nature’s indefinable limits. Like the tales unfolding across the pages of Verne’s novels, these artworks convey captivating stories through their rich imagery inspired by scientific revelations.