My purpose in creating this paper is to research a holistic view of paleontological illustration (also called paleoimagery or paleoart). A thorough history of paleoimagery is outlined from its roots in biblical illustration in the 17th and 18th centuries approaching the modern day. A two-fold examination of the utility of art to communicate science and its use within the science of paleontology is also given. This includes discussions of the specific components of art pieces that help them to successfully communicate scientific ideas and examples of how paleoimagery contributes to paleontology. The author then outlines the conception and creation of an art piece showing various artistic depictions of the dinosaur Iguanodon bernissartensis since its discovery concluding with an original reconstruction created by the author. In order to create this piece, the author includes research and presents examples of different described “types” of paleoart. The author’s original reconstruction is based on research about the animal’s physiology, environment, and lifestyle as well as inferences made from modern animals. My aim in constructing this project is to further inform individuals already well-versed in paleontology on the practice of paleoart and how it can be more effectively used to communicate science to the uninformed public.
First Advisor Department
Second Advisor Department
School of Art
McNulty, Colin, "Paleoimagery: The Artistic Restoration of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life" (2017). Honors Projects. 230.