Jurassic Art

Studio 360

Dinosaurs have captured our imaginations ever since we started digging up their bones. But translating the information from those bones into an accurate picture that includes muscles and skin takes a special type of creativity. At the end of the 19th century, the wildlife painter Charles R. Knight essentially invented the dinosaur as we know it. He created murals in America's biggest natural history museums and ended up influencing the way dinosaurs were portrayed in pop culture from Jurassic Park to Barney.

When today's paleontologists make a discovery, their go-to artist isJulius Csotonyi. His work has appeared on the walls of museums and in special exhibits. His new book The Paleoart of Julius Csotonyi contains more than 150 renderings of long extinct life forms.

See a slideshow of his work below.

Csotonyi (born in Hungary, now living in Canada) holds degrees in ecology and environmental biology. When rendering bygone ecosystems, heoften pulls elements from photos he's taken in remote corners ofthe cypress swamps of the southern United States and the coniferous forests of Canada's Pacific coast--- places where life hasn't changed much since the dinosaur days. He creates his illustrations digitally, so that when new information arises, they may be altered more easily than traditional paintings or sketches (though he does those, too, which you can see here and here). Like our understanding of Jurassic life, Csotonyi's images are constantly evolving.

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