June 6th

1947 – Zallinger completes his Age of Reptiles

On this day in dinosaurs, Rudy Zallinger completed what is perhaps the most infamous painting in paleontology–the Age of Reptiles at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. The painting, done in the Renaissance fresco secco style–similar to the process Michelangelo used for his Sistine Chapel masterpiece–and took 4 and a half years to complete.

Zallinger’s work earned him a Pulitzer Award for painting in 1949. He was later asked to paint another mural for the Yale Peabody museum: The Age of Mammals. Both murals are still on public view at the museum.

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