Friday, September 3, 2010

Vintage Dinosaur Art: Neave Parker


Neave Parker's path to an artistic career almost sounds like an episode of Michael Palin's post-Monty Python's Flying Circus series, Ripping Yarns. The Natural History Museum's page on Parker says that after his father forbade his pursuit of the arts, "he took up employment in a bank but, after just one disastrous week, he was firmly but kindly advised to seek another profession. Parker commented: 'each day there was an error in the books, and the whole staff had to stay behind until the error was found. It always ended with me.'" He would try his hand at surveying and serve in the RAF in World War II before finally going for his dream.

Parker went on to collaborate with writers E.H. Colbert and W.E. Swinton; here's one of his books with the latter, Animals before Adam.


Here's a Triassic scene in which the prosauropod Plateosaurus scares off the near-dinosaur Saltopus.

Being a British artist, he wasn't going to escape the allure of Iguanodon.

Contrast this Triceratops with the one featured at the beginning of the post. This guy's frill almost looks like a cape tied around his neck, it's so long and swept back.


Another book he did with Swinton also features a biblical reference. I'm not sure if Parker did the cover - probably not - but I couldn't help posting it.

I also love this painting, a mix of Cretaceous beasts hanging out by the old watering hole. It looks like the T. rex is about to give Gorgosaurus the business. You also have to look really closely to see that the Trachodon in the background isn't straddling his buddy's tail.

Thanks again to Norman Felchle for sharing these with the world. As always, feel free to join in by uploading old illustrations of dinosaurs to the Vintage Dinosaur Art flickr pool. I really need to hook up my new scanner - I've got a stack of books just itching to be digitized.


  1. Yeah, hook up that scanner. I'm curious to see what you've got in that stack of books!

  2. I know, I know! It's just been sitting there in that box while I've been doing silly things like overwhelmingly large landscaping projects. At night, I think I hear it weeping.

  3. I've found several old (pre-1984-ish) dinosaur books in a library the other day and will be rolling them out in the next month. Thanks for posting so often about this subject!

  4. Re The Late Cretaceous scene (5th picture down, below the Iguanodon): Swinton identified the 'Triceratops' you're criticizing as a Torosaurus. Although it's hard to see at the resolution that you show, there's a standard Parker Triceratops in the left background, past the oasis.


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