C. M. Kosemen

C. M. Kosemen

Artist and Researcher




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Research & inspiration

This is my research and inspiration page.
None of the content on this page belongs to me.
All images have been found online or in their respective sources, and have been reproduced here for non-commercial purposes.
Sources and artists have been indicated wherever possible.

The previous incarnation of this page can be seen here.

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Demons and monsters from Middle-Eastern incantation bowls



A selection of inscribed figures from Middle-Eastern incantation bowls, ritual objects from the Late Antiquity. These bowls were believed to trap evil spirits when buried as part of special rituals. Jews, Christians, Mandaeans, Manichaeans, Zoroastrians and Early Moslems all used them.
Source: Naama Vilozny, Lilith’s Hair and Ashmedai’s Horns: Incantation Bowl Imagery in the Light of Talmudic Descriptions, 2015.

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Landscape photographs from Istanbul and Anatolia during the 1920s















Artist: Hüseyin Avni Lifij (1886-1927).

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Ethiopian magic scrolls
















A selection of Ethiopian magic scrolls from various sources. These highly-stylised depictions of saints, animals, demons and angels are believed to combat sickness, bad luck and demonic possession in Ethiopian folk religion.

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Creatures and races from the Ringworld

Larry Niven's Ringworld series, based on the premise of a titanic artificial space habitat around a sun; had a spin-off role-playing game in the mid-1980s. The guide-books of this now-obscure game contained lavish illustrations of Ringworld races, alien creatures and habitats, executed a team of by talented artists including Ralph McQuarrie of the Star Wars fame. Here is a brief selection:


Grass giant warriors, flying men, and hyper-evolved "human hunting dogs" beneath floating cities - a splendid painting by Ralph McQuarrie.


A humanoid warrior atop a horse-like mount.


A member of the City Builder race.


An alien from the planet Gummidgy; next to a dangerous creature known as a dendrobrach.


Two warriors of the reptile-like Agaman race; a member of the arboreal Hanging People race.


An alien animal known as a Dak Dak.


Splendid illustration of two human-descendant carrion-eaters, known across the Ringworld as "Ghouls".


A Muck Ogre with a victim.


A portrait of a Night Hunter - a graceful race of nocturnal predators.


A member of a crafty, influential Puppeteer race; next to portrait sketches of the Pierin species.


Two Ringworld arthropods; a Razorwasp and a Grilsk.


Alien grazing animals known as Sarkabestes.


A Sea Person; and a male and a female of the madness-inducing humanoids known as "Vampires".


A Windwalker; a hyper-evolved human-descendant that can glide between mountaintops.


Grazing animals known as Zanj.
Source: John Hewitt, Sherman Kahn, Ralph McQuarrie, Lisa A. Free, Michael Blum, Yurek Chodak, et al.,
Larry Niven’s Ringworld: Roleplaying Adventure Beneath the Great Arch, Chaosium Inc., Albany, CA, U.S.A, 1984.

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Return to the Rhinogrades

The 1957 book Bau und Leben der Rhinogradentia (translated into English in 1967 as The Snouters: Form and Life of the Rhinogrades); was possibly the first book that distinctively focused on speculative evolution - that is to say, the art and science of alternative lines of evolution. The book's central premise was the evolution and diversity of a lineage of mammals (named Rhinogrades) with extremely specialised noses.

In 2019, artist Joschua Knüppe re-interpreted some of the more popular Rhinogrades from this book in his trademark realistic digital-art style.






Source: Harald Stumpke, The Snouters: Form and Life of the Rhinogrades, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1981.

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Triangle-headed tombstones sinking in a dam lake at Turkey's Yozgat province

Photo credit: Mahmut Önal.

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The diversity of sea slugs, illustrated by Tuvia Kurz


Source: Joseph Heller, Sea Snails: A Natural History, Springer, Zurich, 2015.

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The tremendous diversity of Turkish wooden headstones (hece boards)









Source: Naci Eren, Hece Tahtaları, Arkeoloji ve Sanat, Istanbul, 1984.

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Ornithological art by Cemil Aldısan, pioneering Turkish nature artist

Merops apiaster
, European bee-eater.


Carpodacus erytrinus, common rosefinch.

Halcyon smyrnensis, white-throated kingfisher.
Source: Saadet Ergene, Türkiye Kuşları, İstanbul Üniversitesi Kenan Matbaası, Istanbul, 1945.

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Demons from Kitab al Bulhan


Source: Kitab al Bulhan (Book of Wonders), via Public Domain Review.

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Nipponites

Artist: Emiliano Troco.

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Medieval views of elephants



Source: Uli Westphal, Elephas Anthropogenus, 2008-2015.

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View of the Parthenon

Artist: Konstantinos Maleas, 1920s.

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Vintage Stegosaurus

Artist: Alice B. Woodward, 1912.

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Kairuku and dead squalodontid dolphin

Artist: Chris Gaskin, 2012.

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Riddle of the ypsigon
As difficult as it may sound to believe; there exists a major, common and diverse group of crustaceans whose adult forms remain completely unknown. Named Facetotecta, these animals are only known from small, vaguely-shrimp-like larvae, collectively termed y-cyprids. For over a century, it was known that y-cyprids metamorphosed into... something else. But that "something else" remained mostly unknown until 2008, when researchers treated y-cyprids with a crustacean molting hormone known as H-20.


Under the influence of the hormone, the y-cyprids molted, and disgorged a degenerate, vaguely slug-like form which the researchers named a ypsigon.


The free ypsigon is seen in the picture above. The transformation was a jarring and disturbing process. The y-cyprids' eyes devolved into masses of dark cells, which the ypsigons blindly carried about in their anterior regions.


After metamorphosis, researchers predicted that the ypsigons went on to parasitise some sort of marine creature, which still remains unknown.
So the life cycle of the Facetotectans was only partially solved.


Different species of y-cyprids turned into different ypsigons after being treated with the H-20 hormone. Here, a "fat" y-cyprid disgorges a similarly chubby ypsigon.
Source:Henrik Glenner, Jens T Hoeg, et al., “Induced metamorphosis in crustacean y-larvae: Towards a solution to a 100-year-old riddle”, BMC Biology, 2008, 6:21.

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Paintings of prehistoric marine animals by Franz Roubal

Geosaurus, 1938.


Ichthyosaurus, 1936.


Mosasaurus and sharks, 1937.


Stranded Basilosaurus, 1933.

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Bowing to Fertility Gods

Sculptor:
Pierre Racine, 2014.


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Paintings by Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghikas

Pine Trees, 1949.


Trees on Poros, 1950.


Wandering Moon over Dead City, 1956.


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A book of comets



















Illustrations of comets from the 16th century.
Source:
Das Kometenbuch, 1587.

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Murad Reis Mosque, Rhodes

Photo credit:
Bernard Gagnon.


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Sardinian ritual costumes









Boes, Merdules, and other folk play characters from Sardinia.
Source:
Mario Atzori, et al., Il carnevale in Sardegna, Editrice Mediterranea, Rome, 1990.

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Study of a gecko

Artist:
Stanis Dessy, mid-1930s.


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African village series





Artist:
Giuseppe Biasi, 1924-1927.


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Prehistoric landscape

Artist:
Dominique Lagru, early 1950s.


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Deinotherium, 1855

At one point, the extinct proboscidean Deinotherium was interpreted as a walrus-or-manatee-like creature, using its peculiar tusks to haul itself to land.
Source: Petrefactenbuch, oder allgemeine und besondere Versteinerungskunde mit Berucksichtigung der Lagerungs-Verhaltnisse, besonders in Deutschland Krais & Hoffmann, Stuttgart, 1855.


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Lurid

Artist:
"Dolorosa", 2012.


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Flies




Illustrations depicting nine of the many families of flies (Diptera).

Source: University of British Columbia Department of Zoology website, https://www.zoology.ubc.ca/bcdiptera/Order%20Diptera%20Text%20Files/family_descriptions.htm

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"Optionally manned aircraft"

A pilot rides on an early Scaled Composites Raptor UAV to rescue the aircraft in case of a malfunction.

Source: Scaled Composites website, www.scaled.com

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Stygimoloch

Artist:
Ely Kish.


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Lair of the Sea Serpent - in two versions



Artist:
Elihu Vedder, 1890s.


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Neon Istanbul




Artist: Elsa Bleda, 2018.

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The Martyrdom of St. Saturus

Artist:
Eric Gill, 1928.


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Callimenus, the chunky Eurasian cricket



Two species of chunky Eurasian crickets; Callimenus avanos (above), and Callimenus dasypus (below).


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The mystery of "mustela"

A mysterious animal from the Philippines, referred to only as "mustela" by the 17th-century zoologist Georg Josef Camel.

Source: Raquel A. G. Reyes, “Botany and zoology in the late seventeenth-century Philippines: the work of Georg Josef Camel SJ (1661–1706)”
Archives of natural history 36 (2): 262–276. 2009.

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Bodrum during the 1970s

A late-1970s postcard from Bodrum, a touristic town in southwestern Turkey.


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Phreatichthys andruzzii, Somali blind cavefish

Photo credit:
Wikipedia / "
Hectonichus"

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Canyon Creature

Artist:
Midiaou Diallo, 2018
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Timon lepidus, the ocellated lizard

Artist:
Vasily Vatagin, 1946
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The Ottoman Vilayet of the Archipelago

A French map showing the Late-Ottoman vilayets (provinces) of Crete and the Aegean Archipelago.
Source:
Vital Cuinet, La Turquie s'Asie - Tome III Provinces des Îles de l'Archipel et de la Crète, Isis Books, Istanbul, 2001.

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Title page of Turkish Land Snails

Title page of Turkish Land Snails, the most comprehensive volume on the subject, typeset in all languages of the region.
Source:
Hartwig Schütt, Turkish Land Snails, Verlag Natur & Wissenschaft, Solingen, 2010
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Eider in Flight

Artist: Richard Talbot Kelly.

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Anglerfish

Painting illustrating the diversity of anglerfish - every form seen here is an extant creature!
Artist:
Ray Troll
, 2003.

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Arslankaya

An engraving showing the ancient "Arslankaya" monument, a relic of Phrygian civilisation.
Source: Journal of Hellenic Studies, 1884.


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Vintage palaeoart

A lizard-like pterosaur battles a crocodile-like ichthyosaur.
Artist: V. Bertaud, 1866.


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The Ankara National Health Institute

The gateway of the National Health Institute in Ankara, Turkey.
Source: Othmar Pferschy, Fotoğrafla Türkiye [Turkey in Pictures], Matbuat Umum Müdürlüğü, Ankara, 1936.

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Renaissance sunfish

Renaissance-era book drawing of sunfish, Molidae sp.

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Vision of the Ottoman Navy

Painting by Diyarbakırlı Tahsin Siret, an Ottoman naval artist of the late 1800s.

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Label of the Filurya Rakısı

The label and brand of the Filurya [green finch] Rakı, an aniseed-based alcoholic drink from Turkey of the 1930s.
There were many brands of “rakı” in Turkey, but Filurya was distinct in being owned by Çelebi Behar Salamon, a member of the country’s Jewish community.

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The rights of images on this page belong to their respective owners - if applicable.
They have been reproduced here for non-commercial purposes.
Contact c.m.kosemen@gmail.com for inquiries.

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