Fossils in fine art

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Check out Brian’s new review of A History of Paleontology Illustration (Life of the Past) by Jane Davidson, in Palaeontologia Electronica:

It is rare for fossils to be featured in fine art, but in the 15th century painting A Goldsmith in His Shop, Possibly Saint Eligius by the Flemish master Petrus Christus there is, if you look carefully, a fossil shark tooth among the objects scattered on the shop’s table. The fossil plays a nearly insignificant role in the painting, but it reflects the general interpretation of such natural curiosities at the time. From this modest starting point, Davidson launches into a detailed artist-by-artist exposition of fossil illustration, explaining artistic traditions and techniques as well as the changing nature of paleontology.

Sounds fascinating!


  1. #1 Laelaps
    April 29, 2009

    Thanks, Jessica! It is not a bad reference book, but I really wish Davidson spent some more time on illustration post “Dinosaur Renaissance.” Oh well, at least that’s a niche I might one day be able to fill. 🙂

  2. #2 Keri
    May 2, 2009

    Oooh — another great book reference! Thanks bunches!

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