1859–1946, Denmark

Also known as: GH, Heilman

Birth 1859
Died 1946

Heilmann, Gerhard, 1859–1946 (In 1942 he changed the spelling of his name to "Heilman", however the older spelling predominates): Danish artist and paleontologist who created artistic depictions of Archeopteryx, Proavis and other early bird relatives apart from writing The Origin of Birds, a pioneering and influential account of bird evolution. Heilmann lacked a formal training in science although he studied medicine briefly before shifting to art. His ideas on bird evolution were first written in Danish in the Dansk Ornitologisk Tidsskrift.

In 1883 Heilmann quit his medicine studies and became an apprentice painter of Franz Schwartz and later P S Krøyer. He joined Royal Copenhagen porcelain works in 1890 and worked there until 1902. He then worked as a free-lance artist, illustrating books. Some of his key works included illustrations in Schiøler's Danmarks Fugle (birds of Denmark), Jægeren in Naturen (1925) (Hunter in Nature), Danmarks Sangfugle 1926 (Denmark's songbirds), and a three-volume Danmarks Fugleliv (1926–1930). An ardent birdwatcher himself, he was one of the first members of the Danish Ornithological Society started in 1906. He designed the front cover of the society's journal. Some Danish banknotes were designed by him.

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