A review of the paleoart of Julius Chotoni
A review of the paleoart of Julius Chotoni
A Darwinian drama from Titan Books
So, the new book showcasing the extraordinary talents of Julius Csotonyi arrives at our offices and we have been tasked with writing a review. This may be a new publication from Titan Books, but we’re very familiar with the cover art. Visitors to such prestigious institutions as the Royal Tyrrell Museum (Alberta, Canada), the Houston Museum of Natural Science, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History have also seen Julius Csotonyi’s digital images. He has been repeatedly commissioned to create dioramas and prehistoric scenes to help bring museum exhibits to life, literally put flesh on the bones of long-extinct creatures, and help visitors learn more about the prehistoric life that once roamed our planet or the ancient seas of the earth swam in it. Fossils are the remains of extinct animals preserved for scientists to study. Artists like Mr. Csotonyi are tasked with bringing back these long-dead organisms and showing them as breathing, living animals.
The paleoart of Julius Chotoni
This book contains a number of the most famous and famous illustrations and aims to give the reader an insight into the motivation and creative style that allowed the artist to imagine and recreate such amazingly detailed paintings of animals from the past. The full title of this post is “The Paleoart of Julius Chotoni – Dinosaurs, Saber-Tooths and More”, although it has a strong bias towards illustrations of Mesozoic vertebrates, especially dinosaurs.
Exposed by geological ages
After a short introduction by Dr. DC Evans of the Royal Ontario Museum and a preamble by Dr. Robert Backer, who outlines how Julius with his scientific background (he studied microbiology) was able to capture moments of prehistory in his artwork , has a long interview with the artist. Entitled ‘In Conversation’, it outlines the artist’s early inspirations and his progression towards becoming one of the pre-eminent paleo-painters. The rest of the book is devoted to showcasing the vibrant digital artwork and illustrations that now grace some of the world’s most prestigious natural history museums. The book follows a loose chronological order, starting with the Paleozoic era, then moving on to the Mesozoic, before ending with some of Julius Csotonyi’s illustrations inspired by Cenozoic life. Most of the book is devoted to illustrating Mesozoic creatures. However, within each section, the placement of animals and subject areas are not in chronological order. You can expect to find a dramatic recreation of a flooded Devonian forest full of placoderms against a mural depicting the Permian mass extinction.
Fantastic prehistoric images
The star of this book is obviously the artwork. Text is kept to a minimum, except for brief explanations of image content and some notes related to the images themselves. There are special features on prehistoric animals that were commissioned as part of a larger work. For example, the artist discusses the scientific evidence used to recreate his image of Tiktaalik, an early tetrapod. There’s also a special feature of the Chinese feathered dinosaur Guanlong, plus some nifty drawings and digital artwork as the fossils come to life.
Dinosaurs are the stars
Whether due to their size or scale, or perhaps because dinosaur galleries tend to be the most popular places in natural history museums, the book contains many illustrations of dinosaurs. A huge variety of different types of dinosaurs are contained in this book, from a wonderful montage of the horns and tips of Ceratopsidae to dioramas depicting fearsome Tyrannosaurus rex. The book has several folding sections that, when unfolded, reveal a complete mural painted by Julius. These beautiful illustrations allow the reader to appreciate some of the size and magnitude of the individual orders. Fossils come to life while depicting the animals themselves and their environments.
Ending with the Cenozoic
The book ends with a section devoted to illustrations of prehistoric Cenozoic mammals. There are highly detailed digital images of giant arctic camels, ancient whales, as well as those saber-toothed cats promised in the full title. This part of the book also contains some wonderful pencil drawings of mammoths, mastodons and ancient ungulates. The 156 pages are very much devoted to highlighting Julius Csotonyi’s often breathtaking artwork, but there is a useful glossary at the back along with a geological time scale to help put the illustrations into context.
Would we recommend this post?
Since Julius first began serious scientific illustration in 1998, he has been regarded as one of the best in his field. He combines scientific knowledge with a vivid imagination to create stunning visual masterpieces. This book comes highly recommended as it celebrates his artwork, especially those created in the digital medium, and dinosaur fans, scientists and art lovers alike will all enjoy flipping through its glossy pages.
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