London, United Kingdom
1840's Geologist Henry De La Beche
Paul D Stewart
Photograph - Photograph
Swantype (cleaned) 1840's Portrait mezzotint of Henry Thomas De La Beche (1796-1855), a geologist famous for his cartoon and humorous representations of early fossil finds and fellow geologists. He worked with Conybeare on the early studies of prehistoric marine reptiles; ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs. He lived in Lyme Regis in his youth and is often romantically linked with Mary Anning who was two years his junior (she remained unmarried). There is no clear evidence for the romance. He drew 'Duria antiquior'- 'of life in a more ancient Dorset' featuring reconstructions of her many fossil finds. He encouraged it being turned into a lithographic print by George Scharf and for it to be sold at £2 10s with the proceeds going directly to Mary Anning. It is today one of the most famous prehistoric reconstructions. See also 'Awful changes' lampooning Charles Lyell.
May 8th, 2013
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