Pictures by JRR Tolkien

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Pictures by JRR Tolkien was first published in 1992, with a forward and text by Christopher Tolkien.

Pictures by JRR Tolkien was released as a lovely oversize edition, measuring 12 ½” by 12”, and contained thirty-eight of Tolkien’s sketches and watercolors of Middle Earth.

Tolkien was also a chronic doodler, creating intricate colored frieze-type patterns and floral designs on any available blank spaces – especially newspaper pages. The book contains many of these designs, all of which had only appeared prior to this in various Tolkien Calendars from the 1970’s.

These pictures by JRR Tolkien provide a unique look into the vision of the man who created Middle Earth.

A few of the pictures were pen-and-ink drawings that Tolkien later painted himself (such as “The Hill: Hobbiton Across the Water”), while most of the colored pictures were originally pen-and-ink drawings later colored by H.E. Riddett for the Tolkien Calenders in which they originally appeared.

Perhaps the most charming of the paintings by Tolkien is that of “The Forest of Lothlorien in the Spring”, a beautifully-colored piece that brings to mind Ted Nasmith’s painting of “Lúthien”.

A few of the other paintings and drawings that appear in The Pictures of JRR Tolkien are:

  • Two crayon sketches and a watercolor painting of “Rivendell”
  • “The Mountain-Path” (familiar to those who have seen early editions of The Silmarillion)
  • “Beorn’s Hall”
  • “The Hall at Bag-End, Residence of B. Baggins Esquire”
  • “Taniquetil”
  • The three gates of “Nargothrond”
  • “Tol Sirion”
  • And many others…

A book containing the same pieces of art was released in 1995 under the title JRR Tolkien: Artist & Illustrator and edited by Tolkien scholars Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull.

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