Customer Review

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for fans of Middle-Earth, February 26, 2003
This review is from: J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator (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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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 30, 2010 8:33:49 PM PST
Disclaimer: This book does not in fact contain "all the artwork that Tolkien created". It has a wide and wonderful sampling, but "all" would be impossible.
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