Andrei Miljutin

The meeting place of art and science: an exhibition of animal drawings by Andrei Miljutin is on display

An exhibition of drawings by zoologist and curator of vertebrate animal collections, Andrei Milutin, titled "Amazing Animals", brings together art and science. The exhibition will remain open at the University of Tartu Natural History Museum until 18 February.


The animal drawings on display are designed to illustrate scientific articles, books and other scientific publications - complementing the accurate scientific information. Nearly half of the drawings in the exhibition have previously appeared in Andrei Miljutin's publications, while others are designed to illustrate future texts.

The aim of a scientific illustrator is to create a scientifically useful illustration by choosing the right precise composition - for example, in the case of an animal, capturing the entire body structure.

Andrei Milyutin described how the process of drawing is similar to translating.

You take half a dozen scientifically flawed photos, first explain the animal's physique to yourself and then draw it in a way that others can understand.

Andrei Miljutin

In the same way, drawing has several advantages over photography - even the most beautiful nature photograph can give incomplete information about an animal's physique if its legs are in the grass or a part of its body is in shadow.

Miljutin also highlighted the economic benefits: "Although I use more expensive professional drawing tools, they are still considerably cheaper than professional photographic equipment. Besides, I can draw even the most exotic animal at home. Capturing this animal in the wild would require an expensive expedition that could last for months and end up with nothing, but I need hundreds of these pictures right away".

Andrei Miljutin, curator at the University of Tartu Natural History Museum, is a zoologist who has published both scientific and popular books on mammals. His latest book is "The Phenomenon of Rat", recently published by the University of Tartu. He has been working at the University of Tartu since 1996, but has also worked previously from 1987-1994. He obtained his Science degree in Biology in 1987 at what is now St Petersburg State University.

The exhibition "Amazing Animals" will remain open at the Natural History Museum until 18 February 2024. The exhibition can be visited with a museum ticket.

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