Podcast Show Notes: Episode 26 – The Burian Episode

Podcast Show Notes

For episode 26, we’re crossing a big one from our list: The work of the legendary Zdeněk Burian, as it appears in 1972’s Life Before Man. Surely, this book is worth an entire episode, so we’re foregoing the interview this month. Niels, Natee and Marc discuss not only the art of the Czech master, but also his life, his beliefs and his enormous legacy. How did Burian get around reconstructing dinosaurs when he had no access to any fossils? Is romance dead in today’s palaeoart? What can we learn from Burain’s portfolio in the modern day? Will Marc be able to type “Petrodactyle” without AutoCorrect ruining his day? And will Niels be able to pronounce it properly? Find out in this special episode.

In the News

Vintage Dinosaur Art

Written by Zdeněk Špinar, Life Before Man initially came out in 1972, though it’s had many revisions since then. The initial version had 162 pieces of art, later versions as many as 180. They span over three decades of Burian’s life.

Tyrannosaurus and Trachodon

Devonian Landscape

Pteranodon ptarents



Heroic Tarbosaurus

Gorgosaurus and Scolosaurus










Compsognathus and Archaeopteryx

Columbian mammoth and Smilodon






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  • Reply
    David Howlett
    August 23, 2023 at 4:36 pm

    Back in autumn 2019, I was fortunate enough to visit Zoo Dvur Kralove in northern Czechia and the sizeable art gallery within devoted to Burian; if all goes well, I will be making a repeat visit in a handful of weeks 🙂 definitely a pilgrimage worth making for anyone interested in palaeoart!

    • Reply
      Rostislav Walica
      August 30, 2023 at 3:01 pm

      When you are in the Czech Republic, you can also visit Burian’s great exhibition of dozens of his Paleocene works in the Anthropos pavilion in Brno. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropos_Pavilion Have you already bought the first part of the three-volume monograph on his paleoart? Of course, you can buy it for the best price in Czechia. I’m just finishing the second volume, it will be released in November…

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