About the Society Awards Past Award Winners 2010 (Lanzendorf PaleoArt Prize) Elisabeth Daynès
Elisabeth Daynes

Elisabeth Daynès started painting in an artist's workshop at the age of seven. In 1981, at the age of 20, she joined the National Theatre of Lille and began creating masks for the theater. A year later, a German stage director noticed her talent and she began to experiment with more materials such as silicone and resins to create special effects. She founded her own studio, Atelier Daynès in Paris in 1984. A few years later, she was commissioned by the Thot Museum in Montignac, close by the famous caves of Lascaux, to sculpt a life-size mammoth and a group of hominid figures from the Magdalenian period. Daynès was hooked and began to devote her career to anthropological study and how it could be expressed through her art in the form of hominid reconstruction.

While she has always closely collaborated with the scientific community, the turning point of her art was the encounter with Dr. Vignal, a forensic anthropologist at the National Forensic Institute of Paris.

Since then, Elisabeth Daynès and her studio have worked other European countries such as Germany, Sweden, Portugal and Spain, but also places as far-flung as South Africa, Japan, French Polynesia and Mexico, to name only a few. Among her many accomplishments worldwide, she has brought the famous first woman, "Lucy," to life with her hyper realistic reconstructions, and has been featured in the US on the cover of National Geographic depicting the young Pharaoh Tutankhamen under the heading "The New Face of King Tut."

Top: Elisabeth Daynès
Bottom: "Hominid family" by Elisabeth Daynès
Images courtesy of Elisabeth Daynès.

View the 2010 Two-Dimensional Art, Scientific Illustration and National Geographic Digital Modeling and Animation Lanzendorf PaleoArt Prize Recipients.