Paleo Art or Scientific Illustration?

This is a truncated version of the latest post on my blog Paleo Illustrata, which has been suggested  might be of interest to Art Evolved readers. The full version is available over there if you want to read more.

One of the most interesting issues I've come across in the paleoart blogsphere is the question of whether pictures of dinosaurs are art or science, and whether it's reasonable to illustrate dinosaurs in any way apart from using the latest science. Of course, accessing the latest science has become a bit of a hot topic recently and anyone following the lively and passionate discussions that followed Greg Paul's announcement that he wanted people to stop using his skeletal reconstructions will understand many people hold the subject of paleoart very close to their hearts.

But what about the actual function of palaeoart; purely scientific representation or could it be entertainment too? Could it go deeper than simply illustrating past life (not that this is actually a simple task) and illuminate some of the less quantifiable aspects of being a living being on our planet?

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