Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Book Review: Paleoart


Book: The Paleoart of Julius Csotonyi
ISBN-13: 978-1781169124

Author: Julius Csotonyi
Publisher: Titan Books
Release: May 20, 2014
Length: 156 pages (Hardcover)

Book Rating: B+ (90 / 100)


If you had a fascination with dinosaurs as a kid, now's the time to revive your fascination with this lavish collection of scientifically accurate paleoart.
    Pros: Excellent illustratons of dinosaurs. Plenty of scientific trivia.

    Cons: Incredibly tiny type makes for difficult-to-read captions.


The collected works of Julius Csotonyi, one of the world's most high profile and talented contemporary paleoartists. Csotonyi has considerable academic expertise that contributes to his stunning dynamic art.

Csotonyi represents the natural world photorealistically and has been influenced by natural history illustrators such as Peter Zallinger, Doug Henderson and Greg Paul. He uses bold patterns and colors to paint the prehistoric world both with traditional media as well as modern digital techniques.


To tell you the truth, I have some mixed feeling about The Paleoart of Julius Csotonyi.  On one hand, this is a beautiful coffee table book.  On the other hand, my high school guidance counselor never told me that drawing dinosaurs was a legitimate career option, and I'm a bit jealous.

Co-written by Steve White, Paleoart showcases the digital artwork of microbiologist Julius Csotonyi.  The book features a foreword from Dr David C Evans, the Curator of Vertebrate Palaeontology at the Royal Ontario Museum, as well as an introduction from Dr Robert Bakker, an adviser on for Jurassic Park movies, both of which lend credence to the book's scientific underpinning.  Because where this book really shines is in its marriage of illustration and hard scientific fact, which is certain to appeal to the same aspect of your inner geek that makes you stop at Jurassic Park every time you're flipping through the channels late at night.

The book is flavored with brief inserts offering scientific insights on the way various species such as the early Chinese Tyrannosaur known as Guanlong are depicted.  Where the book really shines, though, is in the incredibly detailed artwork, which painstakingly reproduces the best work of Julius Csotonyi, including his recent murals from Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. 

Despite being well past the age where I should consider dinosaurs cool (I can't help but remember all of the ribbing Ross took for being a paleontologist on Friends), I found the book captivating.  Csotonyi approaches his art not as fantasy but as scientific fact, and this collection reads more like an Audubon Society guide to dinosaurs.

If you've ever wondered about the accuracy of all of the dinosaurs in your favorite sci-fi flicks, this is the book to consult.  This collection would make a good addition to the library of any dinosaur enthusiast.


The Geek Art Gallery received an advance review copy of The Paleoart of Julius Csotonyi, from Titan Books at no cost.  We extend our sincere thanks to Titan for the courtesy; however, the free copy did not influence the opinion of this reviewer.


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