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Rock of Ages, Sands of Time cover
  • ISBN: 9780226644790
  • ISBN10: 0226644790

Rock of Ages, Sands of Time

by Warren Allmon

  • List Price: $55.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
  • Publish date: 06/01/2001
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Description
In the splendid collection of paintings featured in Rock of Ages, Sands of Time, the magnificent drama of the history of life unfolds in glorious full color and vivid three-dimensional texture. Two tiny trilobites in a vast Cambrian ocean drift past sea cucumber parasols and a shaggy, tree-like sponge. Snail tracks loop enigmatically against brushed-gray Silurian slate, and ghostly white crinoids feather a Devonian seascape. A delicate pterosaur flies bravely into the Jurassic gloom, while a Tyrannosaurus rex so big that its teeth fill our field of vision stalks the deep orange sands that mark the end of the Cretaceous period.

Each of the work's 544 contiguous painted panels represents the passage of a million years of the history of life on earth, with fossil plants and animals depicted at the same scale and in association with each other just as they might be discovered by a paleontologist in the field. A muted rainbow of background colors evokes the rocks in which the fossils were found -- the Texas Red Beds, for instance, or the yellow Solnhofen limestone -- and keystone events are shown metaphorically, with fat rolls of paint marking major extinctions or continental drift.

To fully experience the awesome impact of an eon's worth of time spread across 550 feet of bas-relief panels, you'd have to visit the Museum of the Earth in Ithaca, New York, where Page's specially commissioned paintings will be installed when the museum opens in 2002. But this book is the next best thing. Not only does it contain crisp color reproductions of each painting, but it also includes an accessible essay from paleontologist Warren Allmon giving the scientific context behind the art.

For fossillovers of all ages, and anyone interested in the merging of art and science, Rock of Ages, Sands of Time will be the find of a lifetime.

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