53. Unger, Franz (1800-1870) 

Ideal Views of the Primitive World, in its Geological and Palaeontological Phases. London: Printed by Taylor and Francis, [1859?]


The period of the Diluvium, or Ice Age, with a glacier invading the land, from Franz Unger, Primitive World, [1859?]

Unger, a Viennese botanist, created a series of fourteen tableaux that depicted the “primitive world” as it might have appeared at various times, such as the “Devonian Period” or the “Coal Period”.  The next-to-last plate shows the “Diluvium”, or the world just before man.  During this period, the earth cooled off, and glaciers descended from the mountains, damming up lakes and scouring the land.  The plate shows a glacier protruding from the valley at left, while animals now extinct, such as the European bison, cave bear, and mammoth, retreat from its presence.

This book was originally published in German in 1851, and the original plate of the Diluvium (which was even larger in the German edition) would have been the first pictorial representation of an Ice Age.  In this English edition, which has no publication date but seems to have appeared before 1859, the plate still marks the first appearance in a British publication of an image of the Ice Age.





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