Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Duria Antiquior


















The original watercolour, painted by Henry de la Beche in 1830. The painting of "Life in a more ancient Dorset" features creatures based on the fossil finds of Mary Anning. The idea was to sell prints of this watercolour as a source of income for Mary Anning.
























Mary Anning (1799-1847), of course, was the first to discover fossilized Icthyosaur and Pleisiosaur skeletons. Mary Anning was well known for these exploits, but it didn't earn her much of a living. Therefore the making of this work.



















Highlight: Icthyosaur chomps Pleisiosaur. Who's to say this didn't happen all the time?
























And the chomped Pleisiosaur poos! A realistic touch not much featured in later paleoart. This is because it was Mary Anning's observations of the mysterious "bezoar stones" found in fossil beds that led to them being correctly identified as fossilized poo.


Is it a long shot to assume these "merde stones" inspiring Charles Dickens to create the name "Murdstone" for one of his least likeable characters?


































Above: Redone as a sort of yellow-edged nightmare (It's hard not to lose the underwater details).

Below: The *chomp* as a fossilized moment!

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