1838 Megalosaurus and Iguanodon by Martin

1838 Megalosaurus and Iguanodon by Martin

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Credit: PAUL D STEWART/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: "The Country of the Iguanodon" by apocalyptic artist John Martin, commissioned by Gideon Mantell as the frontis for his popular book "The Wonders of Geology" (1838). Martin was visiting Mantell's Museum and was inspired by Mantell's discoveries - particularly by the "Mantell Piece" a slab of rock from Maidstone containing articulated bones of Iguanodon. This mezzotint (apparently from a painting by Martin presented to Mantell) was one of the first attempts at geological restoration of a pre-historic land environment, and shows an iguanodon being attacked by Megalosaurus. A crocodile is drawn to the fray, with the whole being watched by a pterodactyle. In the middle distance an Iguanodon and Hylaeosaurus prepare for another confrontation. The vegetation is as discovered by Mantell in the Tilgate forest beds. Mantell notes the reconstruction's accuracy - but basically Martin drew dragons.

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Keywords: artwork, hylaeosaurus, iguanodon, illustration, john martin, jurassic, mantell piece, martin, megalosaurs, mezzotint, nose horn, oolite, pterodactyle, restoration, richard owen, tilgate, waterhouse hawkins

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