Fritz Kahn’s Striking Illustrations of the Human Body as a Machine

By
Share:

Taschen scores another one for your art-book collection with Uta and Thilo von Debschitz’s Fritz Kahn, a collection of the German-born doctor and artist’s best works. Kahn’s illustrations, created around the time of the First World War, were aimed at helping his countrymen better understand the way biology worked by depicting the human body as a machine. Click through to preview a selection of images from the book.

Image courtesy of Taschen

Cover for the first volume of Das Leben des Menschen (The Life of Man), published in 1922.

Image courtesy of Taschen

Biologie des Bratenduftes (The Biology of Smelling a Roast) probably doesn’t need much of an explanation.

Image courtesy of Taschen

Was sich in unserem Kopf abspielt, wenn wir ein Auto sehen und “Auto” sagen (What goes on in our heads when we see a car and say “car”)

Image courtesy of Taschen

Der Resonanzfang (Resonance Access), from Kahn’s book on explaining atoms.

Image courtesy of Taschen

Viermal um den Erdball! (Four Times around the Globe!) appeared in Kahn’s book Man in Structure and Function I, published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1943.

Image courtesy of Taschen

Der Mensch als Industriepalast (The Man as Industrial Palace), a supplement to a 1926 medical journal.

Image courtesy of Taschen

Einfahrt in eine Drüsenhöhle (Entering a Gland Cave) looks more like something drawn by M.C. Escher than an illustration for a medical textbook. But this image comes from one of the five books in Kahn’s Das Leben des Menschen (The Life of Man) series, which he worked on between 1922 and 1931.