Monday, September 20, 2010

Imperial Palace

The second of three original Dinotopia paintings for sale in the upcoming auction shows the Imperial Palace of the city of Chandara.

The view looks east across the Zhengtao River. The emperor’s palace occupies a high and remote prominence in the center of the city. Morning sunlight illuminates the top of the gold dome and the flying buttresses, while thunderclouds assemble over Silver Bay.

My approach was inspired by several artists of the past who specialized in otherworldly moods in landscape: Frederic Church, Isaac Levitan, Andreas Achenbach, Hans Gude, and Jean Ferdinand Monchablon.

The painting is in oil, and appeared in Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara, which was published in USA, France, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece. It also was published in Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn’t Exist. Other paintings from the book toured museums in Yverdon, Switzerland, Newcastle, England, and Nantes, France.
Earlier post about another painting in the Tajan auction.
Galerie Daniel Maghen is the expert adviser in the sale. For more information, please email Olivier Souille at ""
Tajan’s October bande dessinée auction (the final online catalog is still in preparation).
James Gurney Original Art blog
Dinotopia website
James Gurney Original Art blog
Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara


Vicki said...

The emperor's palace looks very much like the Sainte Chapelle in Paris, but with a green roof like the cathedral at Chartres (and of course, the splendid dome). You get to be the architect as well as the painter! How did you design the building? Did you build a model of it?

Andrés Carrandi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrés Carrandi said...

I don't know if I love Dinotopia more because of the dinosaur premise or because of this kind of wonderful landscapes. These pictures are what give Dinotopia a sense of attraction and belonging exceeding most works of fiction. It's beautiful!

Since we're in the topic... what do you think of the Tolkien illustrators: Allan Lee, John Howe and Ted Nasmith? They quite succeed in works reminiscent to this one. Perhaps you can talk about them -or of fantasy illustration in general- sometime? Thanks, sir!

Sorry I deleted my previous post, redaction was terrible.

James Gurney said...

Vicki, I love being architect, and fortunately I don't have to worry about the practicalities of actually building it. In this case, I planned it by drawing a building plan so that I knew the layout of the tower and the vaulted nave.

Andrés: I greatly admire Lee, Howe, and Nasmith, as well as the universe Tolkien created. The writing suggests worlds within worlds. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll give some thought to how I might address the topic of visual worldbuilding, for want of a better term.

David Glenn said...

I like the paintings of Dinotopia because they show of a world that I think every dinosaur lover dreams about.