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hypsilophodon

Vintage Dinosaur Art: Dinosaur For A Day

Vintage Dinosaur Art

A couple of years ago, we looked at the book The Last Dinosaur by Jim Murphy and illustrated by Mark Alan Weatherby. It was a piece of naturalist fiction from the late 80s that followed the adventures of a female Triceratops as the world around her was dying. It was a beautiful and odd little book, one that I remembered reading when I was young. Less famously, in 1992, Murphy and Weatherby reunited for another dinosaur adventure, this one not…

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Vintage Dinosaur Art: Extinct Monsters and Creatures of Other Days – Part 2

Vintage Dinosaur Art

A while ago we had a look at Extinct Monsters, a book from 1892 by H. N. Hutchinson and illustrated by Joseph Smit. Now, we’re going all the way to 1910 for the the new, revised, expanded edition of Extinct Monsters by the same author, that reflects almost two decades of scientific discovery. This new version of the book is the one that has the awesome extended title “…and Creatures of Other Days“. The ageing Joseph Smit, Dutchman in England,…

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Vintage Dinosaur Art: The News About Dinosaurs – Part 2

Vintage Dinosaur Art

Douglas Henderson! Roughly half of you just let out a wistful sigh. Few palaeoartists are more universally praised and beloved. At the same time, his work might not be as well known and widely seen as that of, say, Greg Paul, John Gurche or John Sibbick. For whatever reason, his work wasn’t featured in too many of the books we read in our nineties childhoods (I’m assuming you’re about my age). Apart from Dinosaurs: A Global View and this very…

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Vintage Dinosaur Art: On the Trail of the Dinosaurs – Part 1

Vintage Dinosaur Art

Another day, another dinosaur book that is too bloody big for my scanner. Written by the ever-prolific Mike Benton and published in 1989, On The Trail Of The Dinosaurs is one in a series of three books on palaeontology and prehistoric life. There’s also separate volumes on palaeozoic and cenozoic animals. What makes this one of interest to us is that, in the life reconstructions, we recognize the steady hand of perennial LITC darling Graham Rosewarne. We mostly know Rosewarne…

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Vintage Dinosaur Art: Prehistoric World (Richard Moody) – Part 1

Vintage Dinosaur Art

Here’s another book found through sheer serendipity while browsing charity shops with a friend – Prehistoric World, written by Richard Moody and published by Hamlyn in 1980. That means it was published a few years after another Moody-authored book that I reviewed in 2019 – A natural history of Dinosaurs – and it recycles a fair few illustrations from said earlier tome. No matter – there’s plenty of unique material here to make it worthy blog fodder, not least because…

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Vintage Dinosaur Art: Vasily Vatagin (Part 1)

Vintage Dinosaur Art

After covering Konstantin Flyorov a few monts ago, I found there to be a lot of interest in vintage Russian palaeoart. There was a small but very interesting palaeoart scene in Soviet-era Moscow, linked to its tradition of animal and wildlife art, that is stylistically quite distinct from the western tradition. Today, I want to give some attention to the original Russian palaeoartist: Vasily Alekseyevic Vatagin (Василий Алексеевич Ватагин, 1883 – 1969). Vatagin was a world traveller, a keen student…

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Vintage Dinosaur Art: Dinosaurium

Vintage Dinosaur Art

I check the copyright page, and I check it again. 1993? Really? Surely that can’t be true. Surely this book is at least fifteen years newer than that. But no. The proof is right there, undeniable, clear as day. What sorcery is this? Who stole a time machine? How is this book so good? That year again, that fateful year. 1993. The Year of the Dinosaur, according to ancient astrology that I made up. The deluge of dino books from…

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Vintage Dinosaur Art: The Great Dinosaur Atlas – Part 3

Vintage Dinosaur Art

Right, it’s time for one last round of The Great Dinosaur Atlas (see part 1 and part 2), the greatest book that John Sibbick ever illustrated by proxy. Again, I must apologise for using (dodgy) photographs rather than scans, but the book is so Great that squeezing it under my scanner is an issue. At least we’re able to fully appreciate such double-page spreads as… …this stegosaur page, featuring the skeleton of Toujiangosaurus as it is mounted (as a cast)…

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Vintage Dinosaur Art: The Great Dinosaur Atlas – Part 2

Vintage Dinosaur Art

As discussed in the previous post, the artist most frequently referenced by Giuliano Fornari in illustrating The Great Dinosaur Atlas was John Sibbick. Specifically, art from the Normanpedia was often quite slavishly copied, right down to particular colour choices. As such, when Fornari shifts gears and opts to, er, pay tribute to the work of other palaeoartists with wildly contrasting styles, the effect is very jarring. Sibbick’s Normanpedia work, while beautifully executed and hugely influential, was also a little retrograde…

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Vintage Dinosaur Art: The Great Dinosaur Atlas – Part 1

Vintage Dinosaur Art

Back in the early 1990s, John Sibbick’s artwork for the Normanpedia (that is, 1985’s The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs, authored by David Norman) was simply everywhere. There was no escaping it. Pick up a magazine – Sibbick. Box of chocolate-coated biscuits – Sibbick. Breakfast cereal – Sibbick. Naturally, the ubiquity of Sibbick’s gorgeously painted, but rather idiosyncratic, illustrations from the mid-’80s resulted in a huge number of imitators and outright copycats – there was even a mysterious company apparently named…

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