Paleoart: Visions of the Prehistoric Past

Paleoart: Visions of the Prehistoric Past, by Zoë Lescaze and Walton Ford

Synopsis: Dinosaurs Are Forever. A pictorial history of paleoart.

It was 1830 when an English scientist named Henry De la Beche painted the first piece of paleoart, a dazzling, deliciously macabre vision of prehistoric reptiles battling underwater. Since then, artists the world over have conjured up visions of dinosaurs, woolly mammoths, cavemen, and other creatures, shaping our understanding of the primeval past through their exhilarating images.

In this unprecedented new book, writer Zoë Lescaze and artist Walton Ford present the astonishing history of paleoart from 1830 to 1990. These are not cave paintings produced thousands of years ago, but modern visions of the prehistory: stunning paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures, mosaics, and murals that mingle scientific fact with unbridled fantasy. The collection provides an in-depth look at this neglected niche of art history, and shows the artists charged with imagining these extinct creatures projected their own aesthetic whims onto prehistory, rendering the primordial past with dashes of Romanticism, Impressionism, Japonisme, Fauvism, and Art Nouveau, among other influences.

With incisive essays from Lescaze, a preface by Ford, five fold-outs, and dozens of details, the book showcases a stunning collection of artworks plucked from major natural history museums, obscure archives, and private collections, and includes new photography of key works, including Charles R. Knight’s seminal dinosaur paintings in Chicago and little-known masterpieces such as A. M. Belashova’s monumental mosaic in Moscow. From the fearsome to the fantastical, Paleoart: Visions of a Prehistoric Past 1830–1990 is a celebration of prehistoric animals in art, and a novel chance to understand our favorite extinct beasts through a new art historical lens.

Published: September 2017 | ISBN: 978-3836555111

Author’s Homepage: http://www.zoelescaze.com
Author’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/ZoeLescaze

Mini-bio: Walton Ford, born 1960, studied filmmaking at the Rhode Island School of Design, but soon realized he was a painter. For the last 20 years he has been creating large-scale narrative watercolors. His work has been widely exhibited, including solo shows at the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin and the Brooklyn Museum in New York. – Taschen

New York Times Book Review
London Review of Books Book Review
Palaeontologia Electronica Book Review
The Paris Review Book Review

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Hardcover Edition: Paleoart: Visions of the Prehistoric Past

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