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J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  8,152 ratings  ·  35 reviews
J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973) renowned author of THE HOBBIT, THE LORD OF THE RINGS and THE SILMARILLION, was an artist in pictures as well as in words. Though he often remarked that he had no talent for drawing, his art has charmed his readers and has been exhibited to large and appreciative audiences the world over. In fact, his talent was far more than he admitted, and his ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published October 18th 2000 by Mariner Books (first published January 1995)
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4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,152 ratings  ·  35 reviews


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Julie
Dec 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Once I wrote a paper about Tolkien's art for a history of illustration class, and the TA came up to me and said in this sympathetic voice, "Oh, but he wasn't actually an artist." If only I had been holding this book at the time so I could shove it in her face.

PS: Later the professor read part of my paper to the class because it was just that good, haha.

PS #2: As regards the actual book, it's a great history of Tolkien's art, with a lot of lovely images. He was a better writer than artist, it's
...more
Daniel Ionson
Jun 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is not one of those compilations of pictures with some perfunctory text to pass off as a "book." The writers offer some great information and insights regarding JRRT as a visionary. I highly recommend this.
Joshua
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It feels like in our culture there is a need to divide artists solely into one camp. An artist cannot write, a writer cannot be a singer, a chef cannot also be a sculptor, and so on until the examples pile up. Yet this does artists disservice because it limits their capacity for expression one sole means, and as Wayne G. Hammond demonstrates in this book the mettle of an artist is made in the way they express themselves, not solely in the single format they traditionally do it.

J.R.R. Tolkien has
...more
Kathrin
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sachbuch
This book has a wealth of beautiful drawings and paintings, accompanied by well-written analysis and background information. There's also sketches, patterns and doodles, anecdotes etc. I loved it.
Erika
Jan 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I came across this book in the Western Michigan University library in the process of my search for books on Tolkien's works. It caught my attention because while I considered Tolkien to be the best author of the twentieth century, I had had no idea that he was an artist. This book is filled with full color plates of Tolkien's original artwork, and each chapter focuses on different aspects of his style, influences, techniques, and areas of focus. I learned quite a bit about the things that Tolkie ...more
Nidah (SleepDreamWrite)
This was really good.
Allison
Jul 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tolkien


Beautiful artwork/illustrations paired with insightful analysis. I enjoyed seeing the stages of his work, especially when compared with the stages of his tales and the additional insights found in his letters. Lovely. I don't typically seek out or enjoy books about artwork, but in this case it certainly added to my understanding and view of Middle Earth and allowed me to see Tolkien's other works. I gleamed from this that it is of utmost importance to see it as it comes to your mind,and I enjoy
...more
Tommy Grooms
Apr 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic collection of Tolkien's artwork. His writing deservedly gets the lion's share of praise and attention, but the man was not only immensely talented as an artist, but accomplished. Some of his artwork is absolutely gorgeous, and deserves a lot more attention both on its own merit and for its role in creating his written works.
Marquise
Jul 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: artbooks, 4-5-stars
Lovely collection of Tolkien's artworks. I knew he'd done some drawings for his fantasy books, but didn't know that he had produced such a large body of paintings and drawings. And he's good at it, too.
Laura
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, non-fiction, art
Gorgeous book, a must for any Tolkien fan wanting more insight into the Professor’s creations. My only niggle is the layout of the illustrations- many times the text discussing a painting was several pages away from the plate with the painting, necessitating much flipping around.
Miranda
Oct 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
(4.5 stars)

I loved gaining this insight into Tolkien's illustrations and artwork--as well as their context. I'd love to own this book for future reference. Tolkien was one seriously talented man.
Barron Dalton
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Tolkien was a multi-talented artistic/linguistic master mind. This collection of his art work is truly excellent. These are seldom seen images of the visual concepts Tolkien had in mind. I found his work to be inspirational for my own art work. I have referenced this book many times.
Jim
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful, interesting, and indispensable.
Tim
Jan 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A very nice set of illustrations by Tolkien on many subjects. The accompanying comments are for the most part helpful.
Jared Cook
May 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art, fiction, fantasy
This was a fascinating look at another side of one of ym favorite authors (okay, fine, my favorite author). It is clear from Tolkien's other works that while he was a master of text, he always paid very close attention to images as well, which he considered to be an essential part of the story. From his maps, to the doors of Durin, to the Book of Mazarbul, the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings would just not be the same story without the images. The dust jackets that he designed are another examp ...more
J.souza
Jun 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, arte
This book shows a side of Tolkien- the legendary writer of "The Lord Of The Rings" and other great books- that not many people, even amongst the die hard fans, know of: the artist.

The authors, Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull did an amazing research, making this book not only one of pictures but a kind of biography. The book contains- as it says in the back cover- 200 pieces of art made by Tolkien, with paintings, drawings and sketches, in colour and black and white, some of which became a e
...more
Jaimie
Jun 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Even though the authors of this book claim to have only presented a collection of a mere few hundred of J.R.R. Tolkien's art works I think that they did a marvelous job showing the range and breadth of his skills and subjects. They focused less on the published pieces (presumably because we can see them elsewhere) than on preliminary sketches, pieces not related to specific Middle Earth writings, and ephemera, which really presented a good view of Tolkien's evolution as an artist. Much of his im ...more
Michael
Beautiful reproductions of Tolkien's artwork, from his earliest surviving works to his last. Although many of the images have been reproduced in a variety of other books, many more are presented for the first time (when originally published).

Tolkien was typically dismissive of his ability as an artist, and whilst he is sometimes correct in that self-evaluation, to the appreciative reader of his stories, to have the visual interpretations of these imagined worlds from the hand of the mind that fa
...more
Julia Pillard
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I am of course very familiar with Tolkien's work as a writer, but had no idea that he had such talent as an artist. My fiance gave me this book for the holidays knowing that I had a deep appreciation for Tolkien's mythology. The authors explore Tolkien's work both in terms of his mythology and his life. His artistic expression includes not only images of his mythology but also impressions and illustrations from the different locations he visited and lived in. It is a wonderful book to explore To ...more
Marilou
I am fascinated by Tolkien's watercolour artwork and it is well featured in this book. I learned a lot about his early works and his process of illustrating The Hobbit. The authors emphasize the fact that Tolkien was insecure about his own work. Some people criticized his illustrations of The Hobbit for being imperfect. This is what makes them interesting in my opinion. I was disappointed to learn that he stopped making watercolour artwork after this project. I wished to see more of it.
captain america
Feb 05, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
fuck all those hildebrandt paintings and other artists turning tolkien characters into trading cards and calendars. this is j.r.r.'s vision and has almost no people in it, as it should be, so you can use your own imagination.

too bad it wasn't possible to make the lord of the rings movie without showing any characters...
Kyrie
Jan 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: art
Meh.

I liked the drawings and doodles. Some were quite whimsical. Some I could imagine Tolkien sketching so he could remember where he wanted things to be in his tales.

Honestly, I got so bored by the accompanying text (and there's a lot more of it than pictures) that I quit reading and just looked at the art.

I probably missed a lot of tidbits of info and insights, but I'm happy despite that.
Jane
Jan 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: All Tolkien's fan
Shelves: favorite-authors
I Love Tolkien's books and I think I know well that he was a very remarkable author/artist/calligrapher. Err...Wrong! I did not expect it to be so amazing. He was an excellent illustrator and designer.

J. R. R. Tolkien : Artist & Illustrator is everything it should be. A wonderful collection of Tolkien's artwork from early years to Silmarillion. It's so fascinating.
Miss Clark
Oct 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art, anglo-phile
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dhiraj Bharude
Sep 06, 2015 rated it liked it
GOOD WORK BY J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Jamie
Dec 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, owned
This semi-biographical book offers a glimpse into Tolkien's life and his creative mind, as well as interesting insights in the behind-the-scenes writing of his famous works.
Nick
Jan 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A great addition to the library for the complete Tolkien fan. Others won't see the point.
Hamilton Johnson
Mar 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a very cool book if you are at all interested in Tolkien's artwork. I was especially liked his illustrations for The Lord of the Rings, which I hadn't seen before.
l.
Nov 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Hate people who cut out pages from library books.
Sofia
Oct 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography, tolkien, own-it
My first Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull book about Tolkien. It's fantastic. It shows Tolkien's range as an artist and not only as a writter.
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Wayne G. Hammond was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and raised in the suburb of Brooklyn. In 1975 he received his Bachelor of Arts degree with Honors from Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea, Ohio, where he majored in English. In 1976 he received his Master of Arts in Library Science degree from the School of Library Science of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and from that year has been Assistant Libr ...more