Amazingly Vivid Dino Illustrations Reveal a Brutal Prehistoric World
Over its lifetime, Earth has hosted countless species. But some of those species, like the dinosaurs, have managed to claw their way into a special place in our imaginations. Now, a new book illustrates the dinosaurs — and many of the beasts of millennia ago — in beautiful, spectacular and vicious style. In one illustration, tiny Utahraptors tear at the flesh of a much larger creature. Another shows a rather unlikely but fanciful encounter between giant megalodon and funny-looking platybelodon. A more serene image depicts a well-camouflaged little dinosaur sleeping beneath a tree in a lush, green forest. (via Amazingly Vivid Dino Illustrations Reveal a Brutal Prehistoric World | Science | WIRED)
Caspar David Friedrich is known for depicting what the Metropolitan Museum of Art calls “communion with nature, which the Romantics saw as a manifestation of the Sublime.”
Unlike many landscape artists, however, his paintings were often overtly religious.
After one of his early paintings, the Getty tells us, “[s]hocked by his use of secular genre for a religious purpose, critics accused Friedrich of sacrilege. Friedrich’s oeuvre encompasses scenes of ruined Gothic churches, cemeteries, desolate landscapes, and silent figures in vast spaces, all deeply spiritual and often melancholy.”
There is indeed something wonderfully chilling in the peculiar geometric composition in Cross and Cathedral in the Mountains, from 1812, with the spires of the church continuing the line of the crucifix while the trees balance each other on either side.
The National Gallery in London writes of a work rather like this one that “[t]he rocks and evergreen trees may be interpreted as symbols of faith, and the visionary Gothic cathedral emerging from the mist evokes the promise of life after death.”
Here the sanguine-red glow of the mist-scattered sun reads more as a threat than a promise.