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Thursday, 26 February 2015

Aurochs bull by Joschua Knüppe

There really are not many qualitative, anatomically correct aurochs reconstructions. Most artists make typical mistakes or just do not research properly. For example, there are artworks for which their creators certainly didn't care much on what the horns actually looked like, or which proportions the animal had. There are numerous very good illustration of other extinct bovines, such as extinct bison, Pelorovis, Leptobos and so on. But not even artists like Mauricio Anton, one of the greatest artists for extinct mammals of our time, seem to get the aurochs right. I think the reason for that might be that there are living models for the other taxa (living bison and buffaloes), while domestic cattle are used for the aurochs. Using cattle as models is sensible of course, I do it all the time, but it is a bad mistake to use their body shape for the aurochs. That is a typical pitfall for many artists. Except it is a breed that either lives in the wild or has a body conformation that resembles that of wild bovines anyway (f.e. Lidia). 

As there are only few artists that do qualitative aurochs ilustrations, I asked Joschua Knüppe to draw an aurochs for me. He is a student at te Kunstakademie Münster and a brilliant paleoartist (a paleoartist is, as you probably guessed, someone how illustrates paleontological themes; I consider myself an amateur paleoartist). Go to his deviantart page and have a look at his gallery:  http://hyrotrioskjan.deviantart.com/
Joschua drew an aurochs bull for me after I sent him some photos of aurochs material, life restorations and aurochs-like cattle. I like the result very much: 
Copyright by Joschua Knüppe. Used with permission.
It has all the important aurochs features: the tight, athletic body with a hum, a straight skull and the right colour. The eel stripe is not visible, what may be partly due to the perspective but I consider it possible that some aurochs bulls lacked the dorsal stripe overall anyway. The gentleman next to the aurochs is Ernst Stromer von Reichenbach, an important historic German paleontologist.

Thank you very much!

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad to see that a paleoartist drew an image of an aurochs, but I would like to see another attempt made by this artist. The color looks too brown to me, and the horns appear to be on the thin side,and at too high of an angle.

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