Are you looking for extant or extinct animal paintings to decorate your location?

Hi, I’m Simone Zoccante an Italian natural history illustrator and paleoartist, with a deep-rooted knowledge in zoology, natural history, and paleontology.

While a scientific exhibition has as its primary interest and purpose being informative and accurate, and only secondarily engaging, an artistic exhibition places sensations and emotions evoked by the paintings at the forefront.

As an artistic choice, I have decided to exclusively dedicate myself to naturalistic subjects such as animals and landscapes. I believe that art can be an excellent way to bring the right focus to environmental issues and help people feel more involved in the awareness and preservation of the environment, while also discovering its history and evolution.

Another characteristic of my exhibited works is their large dimensions. I believe that the immersiveness provided by a large painting and the possibility to depict subjects at life size are a new frontier in the visual and artistic narration of natural environments.




If in an exhibition based on concepts and notions, the important thing is to provide a faithful and impartial representation of reality, where communication is functional to the understanding of the exhibition’s data and concepts, in a naturalistic or paleoartistic art exhibition, as I envision it as an artist, it is different.

The faithful representation of reality is just the first step in telling stories. The elements of the artwork, such as animals, plants, and landscape elements, serve the purpose of narrating a situation, and the artist, instead of being an impartial chronicler, is a director who chooses what to show and how to show it with their artistic eye.

Lights, colors, shadows, and perspectives serve the purpose of evoking emotions and immersing the viewer in the world of the protagonists of the artwork.

There are no forbidden subjects; the only rule is that the depicted subjects and their staged behaviors should be plausible and in line with the studied or presumed ethology that the protagonists exhibit.


In my artworks, the stories narrated are based on nature and its protagonists. The choice not to depict human beings and human environments is, in essence, an artistic decision.

After thousands of years of stories based on human affairs, as an artist, I don’t feel particularly inclined or capable of telling something new or unheard of in that regard. That’s why I have chosen to represent only stories where animals, their behaviors, and their world, seen through human understanding of natural laws, are the protagonists and central themes.

The narration, therefore, unfolds alongside the animals as if we were invisible observers spying on their daily behaviors and the environments they inhabit.

Our human world is often absent, and when it is represented, it is marginal and rarely depicted up close.


Photography may be seen as a competitor to painting by many, especially in this day and age. However, the limitation of photography lies in the human condition of its author, the photographer.

There are shots that are impossible for a photographer to capture but can be perfectly realized by a painter.

Images falling into this category include those depicting periods of life on Earth‘s protagonists that belong to deep time, such as all works of paleoart.

Other images falling into this category are represented by scenes that, due to danger, physical inaccessibility, rarity, or limited narrative effectiveness, cannot be depicted through photography.

Furthermore, painting can provide and play with perspectives that have a photographic flavor, in which the narrator, like the aforementioned invisible observer, positions themselves alongside the subjects, depicting them realistically and naturally.


In scientific illustration, such as a bird drawing in a field identification guide, the depiction of a subject must be devoid of any individual characterization to allow for clear and rapid identification in nature. However, in a work of art, it is possible to tell the story of a character through details that emphasize their personality, temperament, and past events.
For example, in the portrait of Smilodon fatalis below, I depicted the animal in a way that allows the shadows to alter its diagnostic colors, and I added certain characteristics to its muzzle that better define its personality and personal history, such as scars on its face indicating fights with other members of its species.

Thank you for your attention and for reading this far.

Do you have a project in mind or that you are currently developing where you think I could add value?

Please contact me at my email, and we can discuss your ideas in more detail privately.

If you are interested in using this image for your projects and works you can contact me and we can discuss about licensing.

All images © Simone Zoccante 2018-2023. Please do not reproduce without the expressed written consent of Simone Zoccante.