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J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator Paperback – October, 2000

4.9 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

YA?A fascinating glimpse into the life of the writer and artist. Over 200 reproductions of Tolkien's paintings, drawings, and sketches fill this engaging title. Basically arranged chronologically into six sections, the book explores the man's early work; visions, myths, and legends; art for children; The Hobbit; "The Lord of the Rings"; and patterns and devices. In a readable style, Hammond and Scull weave their subject's writing career with his love of art. Tolkien's use of inks, washes, watercolors, and pencil is examined. Many previously unpublished illustrations are included and preliminary sketches show how they developed. Excerpted text shows the art within the context of its completed work.?John Lawson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Along with maps, Tolkien self-illustrated many of his works, and a large portion of his artwork is included in this volume with comment by the authors.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 207 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; 1st Houghton Mifflin Pbk. Ed edition (October 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618083618
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618083619
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #236,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Wayne Hammond is one of the top Tolkien scholars in the world, and in J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator he and his wife Christina Scull prove why he is so well-regarded. The research and analysis of the many drawings and paintings Tolkien left behind is of the highest quality.
The commentaries on the pictures, the selection of which is the broadest of any publication featuring Tolkien's artwork, provide a clear and thorough explanation of how and when the pictures were created. The context thus provided enables other Tolkien researchers to examine the evolving landscape of Middle-earth as no other source text does.
When fans ask if Tolkien ever envisioned certain things clearly, they need only turn to this book to see that indeed he did. J.R.R. Tolkien was one of the few authors with the talent to actually illusrtrate his own characters and worlds. The experience of seeing all these images in one volume is exhilarating. It's almost like a long lost Tolkien book had been found in some dusty archive.
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Format: Paperback
With the reissue of Tolkien's cover of "The Hobbit" and other original drawings that he did, it seems like an appropriate time to pick up this book. Why? Because for a really complete vision of Tolkien's work (Lord of the Rings, Hobbit, and all the rest) it's probably best to see it as he saw it.
This book contains all the artwork that Tolkien created (NOT all the artwork BASED on his works, just the stuff he did himself!). Some are miscellaneous sketches and doodles, some are watercolors, ink drawings, prints, pencil sketches, and combinations of all of the above. One doodle looks like multicolored snowflakes, some are landscapes or pictures of little houses, teddy bears, owls, and so on. Very cute and cool, especially the illustrations done for "Roverandum."
And many are Middle-Earth related -- different views of the Misty Mountains or the Elvenking's hall, the evolution of what the Shire looked like, different Laketowns, different "Doors of Durin," even drawings of the tattered pages of the Dwarf Book of Moria. Near the end, even Tolkien's design drawings for LOTR book covers are included. And, of course -- MAPS! Maps of Wilderland, as well as the famous map from "Hobbit."
The text accompanying these many pictures carefully dissects all of the drawings and their importance, as well as how they evolved. (It's a bit like looking at concept art) As well as going over only Tolkien's work, Wayne G. Hammond also examines influences on Tolkien's artwork. For example, there is a fairy-tale picture that influenced a "Hobbit" picture, and a scientific drawing of a golden eagle that influenced another "Hobbit" picture with Bilbo.
This is a must-read for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien, a great peek into a great mind. And it emphasizes that Tolkien was not just a brilliant writer, but a brilliant artist as well. Great stuff, definitely a must-see.
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Format: Paperback
What do I really need to say about Tolkien's artwork? There are still entire generations of readers unaware that Tolkien was so interested in visual arts. His early landscapes were capable but looked rather a lot like any average landscape painter. Yet when he drew his own ideas out of his own head, a vibrant and unique style blossomed. Early works like "The Man in the Moon" and "A Merry Christmas" show a willingness to leap headfirst into the rabbit hole of creativity and the unknown. Splendor floods your eyes in pieces like "The Forest of Lothlorien in Spring," "The Misty Mountains" (hidden at the back of the index, but happily in full color), and "Old Man Willow." Your skin might crawl a bit when you look at "Wickedness" and "After," but this was no deranged mind that created them. His creativity trickled on and on throughout his long life, regardless of his mental state.

Tolkien's strengths seem to have been equally divided between watercolors and sketches. He seldom ever drew a human face, but his Middle Earth-related landscapes are marvelous. He was able to stare at a tree and capture every detail, even with one silly lead pencil on mealy yellow paper. His crests are also of important historical note (and could teach graphic designers a thing or two). Some readers will be amused at the randomness of his paper choices but amazed at how serious and detailed his doodles were.

So after saying all that, allow me to explain my "4 star" reasoning before you jump all over me. Yes, Tolkien's art is fascinating and fabulous, and I appreciate the inclusion of so many pieces (even unfinished sketches). What I don't like is the amount of pieces that were included as black-and-white pictures.
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Format: Paperback
This book gives fans of Tolkien and the Middle Earth a look into what Tolkien was envisioning when he wrote his extrodinary works. It also has many drawings from his earlier days. Lots of commentary round out the paintings and drawings. I think it's a must have for the Tolkien fan. It's interesting, after looking through this book, to see just how far some artists have deviated from Tolkiens ideas (not that that's necessarily bad). A good commpanion to this book is "The History of the Lord of the Rings" by his son, Christopher Tolkien. I highly recommend both.
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