Friday, September 29, 2006

Zdenek Burian, “paleoartist”

yeah, I got your vistas right here. straight society, heading cross country into the Americas. the fellas here are also movin’ on up the east side. here they come, with even more purpose than Columbus.

this and the rest are by Z. Burian (1905-1981) who people have called “the best paleo-painter” around. I don’t know if that includes all the unnamed cave painters but I do know that he’s Czech. people also say he’s the best at proboscideans so I’ve included an example.

some of my favorites are the ones he does of wooly rhinos and ibexes jumping wide chasms. from what I can tell, he got his start illustrating an encyclopedia of prehistoric life during World War II; when the nazis shut down all the universities and so a lot of people went off to write and illustrate books. aside from his paleo-stuff, Z also illustrated the Tarzan books for Edgar Rice Burroughs as well as books for Jules Verne and Rudyard Kipling. he illustrated over 500 books.

it seems a lot of fantasy artists are really into him too. he’s got a real handle on the epic. and I think he’s got this great kind of Arnold Friberg touch for romanticizing all these creatures and guys. for example, this gentleman-hunter down here conveys a kind of tousled but self-assured, Tom Selleck-esque dignity.

here’s a gallery

and if you go to Stramberk, he’s got a museum


Giancarlo said...

eped said...

hey cool, gian.
it's as if you had a camera or something. thanks for the utterance.