A new book called Paleoart, by Zoe Lescaze, explores the history of dinosaurs in art. As The Guardian explains, “Since the early 19th century, artists have depicted colorful – if sometimes fictional – dinosaurs and prehistoric environments, mingling science with unbridled fantasy.”
For the earliest “paleoartists,” fossil bones were blank slates upon which they could project their own imaginations, The Guardian notes. Adolphe Francois Pannemaker, like many artists of his time, inserted biblical and mythological imagery into his art. In one of his works, prehistory appears as an apocalyptic war zone, complete with fire, lightning, and an erupting volcano.