Scene on Campus

Ready for your close-up?

Checking out the details of the Peabody's dinosaur mural.

Dan Renzetti

Dan Renzetti

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No, Armand Morgan is not about to have his forefinger sliced off. He’s merely examining how the painter Rudolph F. Zallinger ’42BFA, ’71MFA, dealt with perspective in his famous Age of Reptiles mural at Yale’s Peabody Museum. “When you’re up close to the mural you can see the things he did to help the view when you’re looking up from below,” explains Morgan, a senior instructor for education at the museum. For example, Zallinger “really exaggerated the size of the teeth on the left-hand side of Tyrannosaurus’s jaws.” (We call that an understatement.)

The painting took five years and was completed in 1947. Now obscured by scaffolding, Age of Reptiles will be first cleaned, then enclosed in a huge climate-controlled covering for safekeeping while the rest of the museum undergoes a multi-year renovation.

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