Maurice Wilson brought past worlds to life in illustrations published everywhere from scientific books to cards distributed with tea packets.
His paintings combined scientific knowledge gained from studying fossils of extinct animals with a vivid imagination. Here, he depicts the enormous elephant bird that, at 3m tall, would have been able to look into the top windows of a double-decker bus. Its fossil remains can be found on Madagascar. With few natural predators on the island, scientists think it likely the bird’s extinction was due to the arrival of humans on the island, perhaps as recently as 2,000 years ago.
John Sibbick, gouache, undated
Port Jackson Painter, watercolour, 1797
William MacGillivray, watercolour, 1839
John James Audubon,...
Brian Graham, acrylic on paper. Page 1 from the Book of...
Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins,...
Sarah Stone, watercolour drawing, c1781 - 1785
Neave Parker, black and white ink on paper, c1965