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Tolkien's World: Paintings of Middle-Earth Paperback – November, 1995


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Harpercollins (November 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0261103075
  • ISBN-13: 978-0261103078
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 9 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #820,196 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The fantastical world of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth is a land of rugged valleys and strange gothic forests inhabited by wizards and goblins. This world comes to life within the vast vaults of our imagination--and it may unnerve devotees of The Hobbit, Silmarillion, and The Lord of the Rings to physically encounter this world in paint and paper. Can the full evilness of Smaug, that demon of jaws and fire, ever be reproduced in a picture? Thankfully and reassuringly, Tolkien's World does not denigrate our very personal conceptions of this place in any way. An array of talented artists conjure up brilliant images on canvas, inspired by specific passages from the texts. Alan Lee's style is whimsical and enticing--his landscapes of Mount Doom and Tol Brandir are enveloped in a foggy veil, the elf lady Galadriel glows in an strange light standing "tall and pale." In contrast, John Howe's works are bold and dramatic, reflecting terrifying encounters with trolls, dragons, and creatures of "sting and of claws." These and other fabled paintings only add to our dreams of Middle-earth. --Naomi Gesinger --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

J.R.R. Tolkien (1892.1973), beloved throughout the world as the creator of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford, a fellow of Pembroke College, and a fellow of Merton College until his retirement in 1959. His chief interest was the linguistic aspects of the early English written tradition, but even as he studied these classics he was creating a set of his own.

Customer Reviews

The book contains works by several artists of varying quality.
Enjolras
I am going online to the Demco website and get a book jacket for this one as it is a keeper.
Watson McFestus
On the whole I highly recommend this lovely book to any Tolkien fan.
Anthony L.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

112 of 114 people found the following review helpful By Mike London on May 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover
There are 60 illustrations, excellent paintings, with the accompanying text that inspired it. The colours are very well down, and each painting is brilliantly done in terms of publication. There are nine artists represented. These are:
Inger Edelfeldt: 7 paintings
Tony Galuidi: 2 paintings
Roger Garland: 10 paintings
Robert Goldsmith: 2 paintings
Michael Hague: 7 paintings
John Howe:10 paintings
Alan Lee: 10 paintings
Ted Nasmith: 10 paintings
Caro Emery Phenix: 2 paintings
My personal favorite is John Howe. He brings out a lot of dark imagery. I don't know why, but Hague's stuff just does not appeal to me. I have seen him do Lewis's Pilgrim's Regress, and some other stuff, and I just don't like his style (also saw his illustrations for WIZARD OF OX). His are of THE HOBBIT. Galuidi has almost a computer generated quality, and his work is especially intriguing, although there are only 2 of his paintings in this collection. Lee is good. All in all, this is a fair book, collecting the paintings of artisits brining about their own vision of Tolkien's classic saga. Over all, a four star book (bumped up one star because of Howe's supreme quality).
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover
"Tolkien's World" is a very handsome book: large, hardcover, sleeve-cover, fine print and paper. It consists on a serie of paintings divided by books (The Hobbit, LOTR, Silmarillion, etc.) printed in the largest scale possible and with great definition. Beside the picture there is the passage of the book which inspired the painting. In the end there are one-page texts about or written by each of the artists, explaining their influences and relation with Tolkien works. My favorite artist is, without a doubt, Ted Nasmith, that draws very realistic pictures. Second place is John Howe, with his dark and intriguin style. All in all, a pretty nice book. I was very satisfied with it and it helped me to figure the places and events of LOTR. Be aware that there's a book that is kind of a sequel to this one: "Realms of Tolkien: Images of Middle-Earth", which I'm planning to get. It is written on its purchasing info that the author is Ted Nasmith, so is the cover authory. Lucky me.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen M Murphy on February 3, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed this book greatly. However, some people may have been dissapointed in that the paintings may not have coincided with the world they pictured in their imagination. Tolkien's masterful use of the English language and powerful descriptions are done justice in many of these paintings. I find that anyone who has read Tolkien's works forms a very distinct picture in their mind. Even though I may not have visualized some of the scenes and landscapes as they have been portrayed, I found seeing other's interpretations to be an interesting experience. I personaly enjoyed the paintings by John Howe, Ted Nasmith, and Alan Lee.
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29 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen Bennallack on May 28, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I was excited when I ordered this book, but the first time I looked through it I was hugely disappointed. Only a few of the paintings in the book do any sort of justice to the imagery, whether implied or described, in Tolkien's books. Many of the paintings are by Michael Hague, and his style does not appeal to me at all. Roger Garland's paintings are elegant, tasteful, and mythical, especially the last one in the book, which I think is just perfect. I also like John Howe's paintings, as well as a couple by Alan Lee and Ted Nasmith. The rest (which comprise the majority) seem chunky, futuristic (certainly not the way I or anyone else I know of thinks of Tolkien's books) and boring. They do not capture the mystery, magic, tragedy, joy, sorrow, or beauty we are all acquainted with in Tolkien's works.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Kikyo C. on July 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I received this book as a gift from my sister, and I think that the basic idea for the work is a very good one. However, I don't think that the book on its own merits is enough for anyone who is not a serious fan of Tolkien and most especially of Lord of the Rings. The pictures and descriptions are enjoyable to look over for those who have read the trilogy, but I am afraid that I had hoped for more. The stories that Tolkien wrote are breathtaking, and I had wanted to experience that same kind of emotion when looking upon the paintings. But despite the talent of the artists, I found most of the art to be rather repetitive and rather uninspiring, save maybe one or two. I don't think that they come close to doing justice to the sweeping landscapes and noble figures which Tolkien described in his work. However, I have no idea what kinds of art and artists exist from which to choose, or if there are any comparable books on this subject. I don't think this is the book for you if you are seeking paintings based on fantasy worlds - there are much better ones. But if you are looking for a book for someone who likes Tolkien, I think it's a nice companion to the trilogy and a good addition to any bookshelf of a Tolkien-lover.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 11, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The art contained within this book is well worth the price. One of it's many strong points is that it really seems to make an effort to include something for everyone. The quoted text on the facing pages is nice as well. A great addition to any Middle-Earth collection.
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