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hypsilophodon

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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Vintage Dinosaur Art: Verdwenen Werelden – Part 1

Vintage Dinosaur Art

There is nothing better than getting your hands on a forgotten, but important, volume of vintage palaeoart, and, folks, palaeoart doesn’t come much more vintage than this. The work featured today precedes Burian, Zallinger and Parker, but in many ways was ahead of its time. When you think of “stylized” palaeoart, you might think of modern figures such as Raven Amos, Johan Egerkrans or our own David Orr, but this book shows that even in the early 20th century there…

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Vintage Dinosaur Art: books from the DK Action Pack

Vintage Dinosaur Art

Following a perusal of the ACTION PACK as a whole in my previous post, let’s now have a closer look at the two books included within. The first of these, like the pack itself (and the somewhat related Eyewitness book), is simply entitled Dinosaur, and serves as a basic primer as to what dinosaurs are all about. It also features a lot of classic model photography, which makes me Very Happy Indeed. Many of the models featured in Dinosaur (the…

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