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J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator Paperback – October 18, 2000
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From School Library Journal
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have purchased this book for my 2 artists at home. Both are visual artists and avid readers. Tolkien not only inspired them to focus in the arts but gave them the inspiration to... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Mikko
Many pictures and design works. I would love to see more of the design procedure and sketches, though.Published 14 months ago by utuvien
Great buy!!! Was everything described. Glad I bought it. A must have for any fan of Tolkien.Published 18 months ago by jeremy
Lots of content, lots of pictures. Colours look great on the glossy pages. The written content is interesting although not particularly memorable. Read morePublished on July 4, 2014 by Randy