Friday, July 16, 2010

Vintage Dinosaur Art: German Dinosaur Cards

Today, we're taking a look at some more from the collections of Norman Felchle. These are from a collection of German dinosaur cards. Not sure who the illustrator(s) might be, but they are pretty fantastic. I'm a sucker for ancient prints like this. If you have any information on who published or illustrated them, let me know.

Update: Thanks to commenters, I learned that these are the work of German artist Heinrich Harder, and the series is titled Tiere der Urwelt, which translates to "Animals of the Prehistoric World." He was an art instructor and landscape painter who became involved in natural history illustrations in the early part of the last century. I'll probably do a future VDA post dedicated to him.

Here's a strange Triceratops; it looks like the artist worked from a verbal description rather than physical specimens. It's much more reptilian than our modern conception of the ceratopsians, with their pebbly skin and occasional quills.

The thirsty hadrosaur: another classic meme of paleoart.

This painting of rhamphorhynchid pterosaurs by the shore at sunset has a great moody feel to it.

Here's a great depiction of the antiquated notion of the "sprawling sauropod." My knees are aching in sympathy for this poor Diplodocus.


  1. The hadrosaur is great. I wish there was a larger image available.

    This one, from the Flickr stream, is also fantastic (unfortunately, no img tags allowed)

  2. The Triceratops, at least, looks fairly well nicked from this restoration of Agathaumas done by Charles R. Knight.

    Granted, given the murkiness around Agathaumas ...

  3. I think the reference of the collector cards is "Tiere der Urwelt" (Animals of the Prehistoric World) (1916) by Heinrich Harder (1858-1935)

  4. These are bloody beautiful Dave!
    There's a attractive feel of naivete to them.

  5. Thanks for all of the great comments on this. I had seen the Knight Agathaumas before, but didn't put two and two together! And somehow I hadn't thought to associate these with Harder, even though it should have been a bit obvious... oh well. I really appreciate the help on this. I'll have to do a whole post on Harder one day, I think.

  6. The artist swiped quite freely. He did one of Laelaps that is such an obvious rip off. I bought a big folder of Tiere der Urwelt in PRague in 1992. One of my prize posessions. It cost me about $30 bucks,


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