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The Art of The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

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J.R.R. Tolkien's complete artwork for his magisterial novel, published on the sixtieth anniversary of The Lord of the Rings As he wrote The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien’s mental pictures often found expression in drawing, from rough sketches made within the manuscript to more finished illustrations. Only a few of these were meant for publication; most were aids to hel J.R.R. Tolkien's complete artwork for his magisterial novel, published on the sixtieth anniversary of The Lord of the Rings As he wrote The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien’s mental pictures often found expression in drawing, from rough sketches made within the manuscript to more finished illustrations. Only a few of these were meant for publication; most were aids to help Tolkien conceive his complex story and keep it consistent. Many do not illustrate the final text, but represent moments of creation, illuminating Tolkien’s process of writing and design. In addition to pictorial sketches, numerous maps follow the development of the Shire and the larger landscape of Middle-earth, while inscriptions in runes and Elvish script, and "facsimile" leaves from the burned and blood-stained Book of Mazarbul, support Tolkien’s pose as an "editor" or "translator" of ancient records.   The Art of The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien collects these drawings, inscriptions, maps, and plans in one deluxe volume. More than 180 images are included, all of them printed in color from high-quality scans and photographs, more than half not previously published. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull, two of the world’s leading Tolkien scholars, have edited the book and provide an expert introduction and comments.


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J.R.R. Tolkien's complete artwork for his magisterial novel, published on the sixtieth anniversary of The Lord of the Rings As he wrote The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien’s mental pictures often found expression in drawing, from rough sketches made within the manuscript to more finished illustrations. Only a few of these were meant for publication; most were aids to hel J.R.R. Tolkien's complete artwork for his magisterial novel, published on the sixtieth anniversary of The Lord of the Rings As he wrote The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien’s mental pictures often found expression in drawing, from rough sketches made within the manuscript to more finished illustrations. Only a few of these were meant for publication; most were aids to help Tolkien conceive his complex story and keep it consistent. Many do not illustrate the final text, but represent moments of creation, illuminating Tolkien’s process of writing and design. In addition to pictorial sketches, numerous maps follow the development of the Shire and the larger landscape of Middle-earth, while inscriptions in runes and Elvish script, and "facsimile" leaves from the burned and blood-stained Book of Mazarbul, support Tolkien’s pose as an "editor" or "translator" of ancient records.   The Art of The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien collects these drawings, inscriptions, maps, and plans in one deluxe volume. More than 180 images are included, all of them printed in color from high-quality scans and photographs, more than half not previously published. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull, two of the world’s leading Tolkien scholars, have edited the book and provide an expert introduction and comments.

30 review for The Art of The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sean Barrs

    To anyone reading this, I sincerely advise you not to buy this book. If you’re interested in the art of Tolkien then try The Art of the Hobbit. That book actually has artwork in it. Tolkien did many illustrations for The Hobbit, and whilst they’re not exactly masterpieces, they show how he pictured his world. At least, in a way that his limited abilities would allow him. Tolkien was wonderful with maps and letters, but he could not create environment or characters very well. He was a master of th To anyone reading this, I sincerely advise you not to buy this book. If you’re interested in the art of Tolkien then try The Art of the Hobbit. That book actually has artwork in it. Tolkien did many illustrations for The Hobbit, and whilst they’re not exactly masterpieces, they show how he pictured his world. At least, in a way that his limited abilities would allow him. Tolkien was wonderful with maps and letters, but he could not create environment or characters very well. He was a master of the word, not the image. The point is, the images of the Hobbit are not fantastic pieces, but Tolkien did actually intend for them to accompany his works. Some of these bits, on the other hand, were never meant to be seen. The cover art images of the original three books are the only thing of remark in here. Most of the “art” in this book are simple lines on a page or some very vague, and I mean vague, sketches of maps and some scenery. It’s not artwork. If anything, it’s would be more appropriate to call this a sketchbook. These were more for Tolkien’s own point of reference rather than to be seen by his readers. I don’t take one star reviews lightly, especially when they are of one of my favourite authors. This, however, really isn’t worth reading. It’s just a bunch of half-finished pieces that wouldn’t have been great to finish with. And also the spine and slip case don’t match up with the previous edition. They’re the wrong way round! (book nerd problems!)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jo (The Book Geek)

    This is a beautifully presented book, full of artwork from Tolkien, that he used to aid him in his writing of "The Lord of the Rings." I must add, this book smells pretty good, too. I had this bought for me as a gift, and I finally found the time in my reading schedule to read it this month. There are some gorgeous pictures of the vast landscape of Middle Earth, and, some rather interesting maps. I especially enjoyed the pages with the amazing dust covers displayed on them. I love Tolkien and his This is a beautifully presented book, full of artwork from Tolkien, that he used to aid him in his writing of "The Lord of the Rings." I must add, this book smells pretty good, too. I had this bought for me as a gift, and I finally found the time in my reading schedule to read it this month. There are some gorgeous pictures of the vast landscape of Middle Earth, and, some rather interesting maps. I especially enjoyed the pages with the amazing dust covers displayed on them. I love Tolkien and his wonderful Middle Earth, and quite honestly, it has had a major impact on my life.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Neil R. Coulter

    The only thing better than reading Tolkien is reading a book about Tolkien. And when it comes to books about Tolkien, the husband-and-wife team of Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull have written some of the best. I’d previously enjoyed their beautiful book The Art of The Hobbit, and the next volume, The Art of The Lord of the Rings, sat on my shelf for quite a while, just waiting for the right time to enjoy it. After a summer of heavy academic reading and preparation for new courses I’m designing The only thing better than reading Tolkien is reading a book about Tolkien. And when it comes to books about Tolkien, the husband-and-wife team of Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull have written some of the best. I’d previously enjoyed their beautiful book The Art of The Hobbit, and the next volume, The Art of The Lord of the Rings, sat on my shelf for quite a while, just waiting for the right time to enjoy it. After a summer of heavy academic reading and preparation for new courses I’m designing and teaching, it was refreshing to return to Tolkien’s creation of Middle-Earth. The Art of The Lord of the Rings is somewhat different from the earlier book about The Hobbit because Tolkien didn’t complete full-color, watercolor illustrations for the publication of LOTR as he had for The Hobbit. That means that the content of this volume is much more preliminary, not leading to the kind of classic Hobbit illustrations we see so often reprinted. This was fine with me, though, because Hammond and Scull have structured the book to go in story order, so reading through it is a fun way to revisit the story, even if many of the illustrations are somewhat minimal (page 49, for example). A lot of pages in the book are devoted to Tolkien’s map-making, which worked hand-in-hand with his writing of the prose. In Tolkien’s mind, he absolutely had to know what the geography of Middle-Earth was in order to continue moving his characters toward the conclusion of the story. Maps of Middle-Earth were not an afterthought, pieced together from details in the story; they were integral through the whole process. It makes arriving at a chapter title like “The First Map of Middle-Earth” quite a thrill. That said, however, I’ve read the twelve-volume History of Middle-Earth series, in which Tolkien’s son Christopher can easily write pages and pages (and pages) about the smallest details of the map-making. As interested as I am in the creation of Middle-Earth, Christopher’s level of detail sometimes wearied me. Hammond and Scull, on the other hand, write more generally, not getting so lost in the minutiae, and their writing also benefits from its placement right next to color reproductions of the draft maps they’re discussing. So I found this book a much more pleasant way to understand Tolkien’s maps. The pages I enjoyed the most in The Art of The Lord of the Rings were the ones that showed how Tolkien carefully prepared elements that would appear in the book, along with the final pages that show his development of ideas for the dustjackets. Though he didn’t complete any watercolor illustrations for the publication (which is really a shame when I see how far he got with some wonderfully evocative pictures—“Old Man Willow” (42); “Moria Gate” (64); “The Forest of Lothlorien in Spring” (88); “Orthanc” (106)—he did create various elements of calligraphy and other design-work for publication. I was fascinated to look over his shoulder in those processes of design to see what aspects bothered him and what delighted him. Also, because my favorite boxed set of LOTR features the dustjackets Tolkien designed, I loved seeing the thought that went into those designs—much more care than I would have imagined! Overall, what The Art of The Lord of the Rings conveys is a sense of a master creator at work. We get to see some of the tensions Tolkien experienced. He had a concept of the perfect ideal that he wanted to create; but he also felt the limitations of deadlines, money, publisher’s demands, his other jobs and family duties, and his own perceived limitations, particularly in the artwork. It’s interesting to see how often his publisher would request something from him, and he would first respond, “No no, I have neither time nor inclination to work on that right now”; but then you can see how the idea worked into his mind, and he would send another response, saying, “Ok, I think this should be done, and I will see what I can do by a certain date, but no promises.” There was always a higher standard, a more perfect realization of his idea, just out of his reach, and his creative process moved not in a smooth line toward that, but in fits and starts, periods of intense, productive work, and frustrating periods of no work at all. I’m sure in his mind this also fit into his theology—that there is a perfect Creator, and we are but “subcreators,” following after the perfect one as best we can. I enjoyed reading and discussing this book with a rather bookish friend here at GR. :)

  4. 4 out of 5

    daisy

    Enjoyable enough, but not entirely what I was expecting when I purchased this. It's mostly full of half-finished scribbles and sketches drawn by Tolkien, a lot of which were more of a look into his thought process as he wrote than actual pieces of artwork he intended for others to see. There are a few of his finished paintings, which are gorgeous, but I was hoping to see more of those tbqh. Additionally, the dialogue felt? a little bit redundant. I would have much rather had a book full of his fi Enjoyable enough, but not entirely what I was expecting when I purchased this. It's mostly full of half-finished scribbles and sketches drawn by Tolkien, a lot of which were more of a look into his thought process as he wrote than actual pieces of artwork he intended for others to see. There are a few of his finished paintings, which are gorgeous, but I was hoping to see more of those tbqh. Additionally, the dialogue felt? a little bit redundant. I would have much rather had a book full of his finished LotR artwork, especially considering the price tag ($50) of this one... yowch.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dr. Andrew Higgins

    Tolkien employed several world building components in the 'soup' of the secondary world he built for his life-long work on his legendarium. It is the specific craftsmanship and 'Elvish skill' of Tolkien's invention and development of each of these components that gives his secondary-world of Arda a much explored sense of 'depth' and 'verisimilitude' that has given Modern Fantasy an incredible work to explore and re-discover again and again. Each of these components (text, invented languages, par Tolkien employed several world building components in the 'soup' of the secondary world he built for his life-long work on his legendarium. It is the specific craftsmanship and 'Elvish skill' of Tolkien's invention and development of each of these components that gives his secondary-world of Arda a much explored sense of 'depth' and 'verisimilitude' that has given Modern Fantasy an incredible work to explore and re-discover again and again. Each of these components (text, invented languages, para-texts) have been and are the subjects of much exploration and more work is to be done on exploring how these components work as a dialectic whole which has created an immersive secondary world that has been the blueprint and inspiration for Modern Fantasy literature. Thanks to the brilliant work of Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull Tolkien scholarship has been given three incredible resources that show how important a part the visual played in Tolkien's world-building. First in 1995 with J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator (London: HarperCollins) and then in 2011 with The Art of the Hobbit (also from London: HarperCollins). To this is now added this brilliant volume which offers many of the drawings and illustrations that Tolkien sketched as he was writing The Lord of the Rings. I highly recommend this beautifully constructed volume which follows the narrative of The Lord of the Rings and offers the pictures, illustrations, and (most importantly and interestingly for this reviewer) maps that Tolkien sketched out as his 'tale grew in the telling' and exhibits the focus and detail Tolkien put into the geography of his expanding world. As a Tolkien linguist I was especially interested in seeing sketches of texts that shows Tolkien's use of his nexus of invented languages - such as in the brilliant drafts of The Ring Inscription and Tolkien's attempt (in the style of the new Romancer H Rider Haggard) of creating the distressed and bloodied pages of The Book of Mazarbul that the Fellowship finds in Moria (which sadly was not reproduced in the original volumes). Seeing some of the original pages (and various versions of Tolkien's always interesting handwriting) was also very exciting. Given the visual was a key way Tolkien conceived and played out his mythology (sometimes using the visual to work out ideas) this volume is an important part of Tolkien scholarship and one that I will be referring to again and again (I am currently working through the three versions of The King's Letter Hammond and Scull provide in Tengwar). I applaud Wayne Hammond and Christine Scull for their excellent work on another volume that offers much exploration and study.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Marko Vasić

    This atlas and textbook by versed duo Hammond & Scull is an excellent guideline for those who would like better to scrutinise the process of Tokien’s creation of the Middle-Earth’s maps, and illustrations regarding The Lord of the Rings books. Similar as in The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, thus here as well are enclosed comprehensive and quite useful texts and tales regarding the very nascency of the illustrations and maps. The reader will find Tolkien’s design for the pages from the Boo This atlas and textbook by versed duo Hammond & Scull is an excellent guideline for those who would like better to scrutinise the process of Tokien’s creation of the Middle-Earth’s maps, and illustrations regarding The Lord of the Rings books. Similar as in The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, thus here as well are enclosed comprehensive and quite useful texts and tales regarding the very nascency of the illustrations and maps. The reader will find Tolkien’s design for the pages from the Book of Mazarbul, conceptual solutions for the dust jacket of the first TLOTR editions, Tolkien’s drawings of Barad-dur, Ortanc, Dunharrow, Shelob’s lair and much, much more.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Grace

    Who needs this book? Well, truthfully, probably no one. But is it still wicked cool to see a little bit of the world-building process of Tolkien? Yes, yes, it was.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Keith

    Stars: 4 This book is great for LOTR fans (specifically of the books, I don't think fans of the movies alone would get a lot from it), but may be of minor interest only if you don't appreciate the LOTR. Calling this artwork is misleading, because much of it clearly wasn't intended to be artwork and was closer to sketches (often very rough sketches) to help Tolkien visualize what he was writing. I still think the book is very good, but people should look up a few of the pictures from the book onli Stars: 4 This book is great for LOTR fans (specifically of the books, I don't think fans of the movies alone would get a lot from it), but may be of minor interest only if you don't appreciate the LOTR. Calling this artwork is misleading, because much of it clearly wasn't intended to be artwork and was closer to sketches (often very rough sketches) to help Tolkien visualize what he was writing. I still think the book is very good, but people should look up a few of the pictures from the book online before buying it so they know what they are getting. The book fluctuated between being awesome and I was scrutinizing every map to inconsequential and tedious at times. Luckily, they didn't bog done the book with too much writing. They gave enough information to explain what you were looking at and a decent amount of the thought process behind it. I would start to lose interest when they'd be describing how in this map, this river got moved 2 cm to the east and now this area is in the northwest of Mordor and stuff like that. Sometimes it would be interesting, but there is a limit to how much I want to hear about minute changes in the geography. You can always speed read or skip those sections if you don't like them though. Some of the artwork was very good, and almost all of it was interesting. There were occasionally pictures included that I didn't think were worthy of inclusion, such as one where it was the first time Tolkien had drawn a certain mountain, but it was a tiny little sketch that had like two lines drawn. It'd be something a three year old would draw if you said draw a mountain. My favorite was reading and seeing what went into the original dust jackets. I think those were the most informative, and they have way deeper meaning than I ever gave them credit for. I've seen them plenty of time but just appreciated that they looked nice. Turns out there is a ton of symbolism that I never bothered thinking about. I'll use the Two Towers as an example. I always assumed the two towers being referenced were Orthanc and Barad-Dur, but they are actually Orthanc and Minas Morgul. Orthanc is the more obvious of the two since the Hand of Saruman is beneath it. More subtly, the key to Orthanc is pictured on the tower. Minas Morgul makes a whole lot more sense than Barad-Dur once you find out that's what it is. There are nine rings on the tower, symbolizing the nine rings of the Nazgul. The biggest ring is for the witch-king of Angmar. Before becoming Minas Morgul, it was a Gondorian fort named Minas Ithil, meaning Tower of the Moon. It was white. The tower on the cover is white, and has a moon above it. Beneath it, the moon is being eclipsed., symbolizing the enemy occupation. Not all of the explanations are that in depth or enlightening, but some are. Any serious or semi-serious fan of the LOTR books would likely be pretty fascinated by seeing the places from the books drawn by Tolkien himself.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jaslyn

    am secretly disappointed cuz but 5 stars for tolkien

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lauren E

    Read in isolation...a little overwhelming. Looking forward to using this in a side by side reread of LOTR.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Elliot

    This book is a very thorough and scholarly collection of all of Tolkien's drawings, illustrations, maps, and even scribbles that he made in relation to The Lord of the Rings. Most of them I have not seen before. Tolkien's skill as an artist can vary, though his few finished drawings, often done in colored pencil, are all pleasant pieces, though I don't think anyone will call them masterpieces. Much of the material included in this book is material that Tolkien created in order to help him write. This book is a very thorough and scholarly collection of all of Tolkien's drawings, illustrations, maps, and even scribbles that he made in relation to The Lord of the Rings. Most of them I have not seen before. Tolkien's skill as an artist can vary, though his few finished drawings, often done in colored pencil, are all pleasant pieces, though I don't think anyone will call them masterpieces. Much of the material included in this book is material that Tolkien created in order to help him write. The most interesting pieces from this category are the maps, in my opinion. However, on the opposite end of the spectrum, are the many scribbles and hurried drawings often found in the margins of the manuscript. The goal of this book is provide the complete collection of Tolkien's art, but the word "art" can hardly be used to describe many of these illustrations which were only intended for the author's use as a tool. I read this book side by side with The Lord of the Rings (the book is organized in the book's chronological order). As such, I found it interesting and often useful because it provided some visual imagery to compliment and occasionally clarify Tolkien's writing. However, I imagine I would hardly enjoy reading this book on its own because so many of the figures included are not interesting in and of themselves as pieces of art, but only because they inform the reader about The Lord of the Rings. Physically, this book is lovely with thick glossy paper and large, sharp pictures of the artwork. It might make for a nice coffee table book except for the fact that the text is dry and academic and that the quality of the illustrations vary so much. I would not recommend this book to someone with only a passing interest in The Lord of the Rings. I suspect they would find it boring and unimpressive. It earns only a low three stars from me.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Liisa

    I was about to see The Lord of the Rings performed on stage (it ended up being the best theater experience of my life!), and to prepare for that I finally read The Art of the Lord of the Rings, which goes through the writing process of TLOTR in as much detail as possible and includes all the survived illustrations, maps and runes that Tolkien drew while he was creating the story. I really learned to appreciate what an immense job it had been and how precise Tolkien was with every little detail. I was about to see The Lord of the Rings performed on stage (it ended up being the best theater experience of my life!), and to prepare for that I finally read The Art of the Lord of the Rings, which goes through the writing process of TLOTR in as much detail as possible and includes all the survived illustrations, maps and runes that Tolkien drew while he was creating the story. I really learned to appreciate what an immense job it had been and how precise Tolkien was with every little detail. Precise are also Hammond and Scull – this should satisfy even the biggest Tolkien fans! For me however it went a bit too deep and I felt slightly bored towards the end. Still, it’s a gorgeous book and I’m glad to own it and to have read it at last.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Anne (ReadEatGameRepeat)

    I wasn't sure what to expect from this one. I got this book by accident when I wanted to buy a different book and idk it said Lord of the Rings so I was intrigued so I kept it. I did enjoy it overall, it had some nice little tidbits of information I didn't know and the art that was there was pretty - but there wasn't as much art as I thought there would be - like a lof of the art was JRRT writing in elvish or Dwarfish and a lot of sketches on scraps of paper. Like yea it was interesting but I al I wasn't sure what to expect from this one. I got this book by accident when I wanted to buy a different book and idk it said Lord of the Rings so I was intrigued so I kept it. I did enjoy it overall, it had some nice little tidbits of information I didn't know and the art that was there was pretty - but there wasn't as much art as I thought there would be - like a lof of the art was JRRT writing in elvish or Dwarfish and a lot of sketches on scraps of paper. Like yea it was interesting but I also expected a bit more?

  14. 4 out of 5

    Chloe

    This one didn't have quite as much charm as the Hobbit art book for me because it had a lot less actual art and a lot more just rough sketches with less of a balance between text and images which made this one more slow to get through. But the art is really interesting to see and it's all very well researched and compiled. I love the maps and dust jacket designs especially. This one didn't have quite as much charm as the Hobbit art book for me because it had a lot less actual art and a lot more just rough sketches with less of a balance between text and images which made this one more slow to get through. But the art is really interesting to see and it's all very well researched and compiled. I love the maps and dust jacket designs especially.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Pyles

    A very deep dive into Tolkien's personal art and sketches of both the languages of LOTR and the world. It was interesting to read up on his process as well as see what made it into the books themselves v.s. what did not. A very deep dive into Tolkien's personal art and sketches of both the languages of LOTR and the world. It was interesting to read up on his process as well as see what made it into the books themselves v.s. what did not.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Gerry Sacco

    A must have for Tolkien fans. The art is superb and the background information is really interesting. Reading through, it makes you want to watch the movies and read the books all over again. Perfect coffee table book as well.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Flarion

    The artworks shown in the book are awesome and a must for all fans! The descriptions however have been written in a style which is too academic. However, it provides many many details!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nele König

    Wow, I'm impressed how detailed the descriptions of Tolkiens Sketches, Maps and Artwork were. The authors put a lot effort in this book. Wow, I'm impressed how detailed the descriptions of Tolkiens Sketches, Maps and Artwork were. The authors put a lot effort in this book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Camille

    I am once again in awe of the genius of this man

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ateka Siddiq

    I wanted to be in a club and have this read with other LOTR readers. Even though the illustrations lack much artistry influence, it still keeps up to a few historical backgrounds that are worth exploring and pondering upon. A great read to know more about a few artsitic backgrounds of LOTR.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kam Yung Soh

    A marvelous book containing artwork by Tolkien that he produced to aid him in the writing of the book, The Lord of the Rings. It contains sketches of scenes and landscapes and especially maps of Middle Earth that covers the story he was telling at various levels of detail. In contrast with the earlier book, The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien , most of the artwork produced here was not meant to be printed; they are meant more as a guide for Tolkien to refer to as he was writing the book, h A marvelous book containing artwork by Tolkien that he produced to aid him in the writing of the book, The Lord of the Rings. It contains sketches of scenes and landscapes and especially maps of Middle Earth that covers the story he was telling at various levels of detail. In contrast with the earlier book, The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien , most of the artwork produced here was not meant to be printed; they are meant more as a guide for Tolkien to refer to as he was writing the book, helping him to keep details, dates and place descriptions consistent. Even then, the description of various places, like Orthanc, Minas Tirith, the Paths of the Dead, etc. kept changing as Tolkien revisited and revised the text, as shown by the sketches he made (and discarded) reproduced in this book. The book ends by looking at the various designs he produced as dust jackets for the book (which was initially printed in three parts). Also reproduced is the King's Letter which Aragon, as King, wrote to Samwise, as Mayor of the Shire. An enjoyable book that, through the sketches and drawings, allow the reader to capture a part of the writing process that Tolkien went through in writing the book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Todd Ross

    This is a seriously in depth book about the art JRR Tolkien made himself for his books and world. There is a large focus on maps and drawings of buildings Tolkien made as reference. And incredible detail about the notes Tolkien left about the drawings and tidbits of information on the items in the drawing and the text that relates to the piece. This is more of an academic piece on Tolkien and less of a fluff filled art book. If you are interested in in depth analysis in Tolkien's art, this is def This is a seriously in depth book about the art JRR Tolkien made himself for his books and world. There is a large focus on maps and drawings of buildings Tolkien made as reference. And incredible detail about the notes Tolkien left about the drawings and tidbits of information on the items in the drawing and the text that relates to the piece. This is more of an academic piece on Tolkien and less of a fluff filled art book. If you are interested in in depth analysis in Tolkien's art, this is definitely the book for you!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jaimie

    Previously, I read the author's comprehensive book on J.R.R. Tolkien's art and was quite pleased with it, but this book fell somewhat short. Clearly, Tolkien's artwork for the Lord of the Rings was never meant to be included in any sort of publication (besides the map), since they aren't more than prepatory sketches. Ironically, the few paintings that Tolkien did complete (and do appear to be finished artwork) were not included in publications unil their much later use for promotional merchandis Previously, I read the author's comprehensive book on J.R.R. Tolkien's art and was quite pleased with it, but this book fell somewhat short. Clearly, Tolkien's artwork for the Lord of the Rings was never meant to be included in any sort of publication (besides the map), since they aren't more than prepatory sketches. Ironically, the few paintings that Tolkien did complete (and do appear to be finished artwork) were not included in publications unil their much later use for promotional merchandise...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Maarit

    A great book for all Tolkien fans. The pictures Tolkien drew while he was writing "The Lord of the Rings" are more like sketches and doodles in miscalleneous papers that helped him to plan the story and also how it's places would really look like as he said he didn't have time nor want to fully illustrate "The Lord of the Rings". Map sketches and book cover desings are very cool looking and also all the other stuff will certainly satisfy any Tolkien fan who likes to know more about his works. A great book for all Tolkien fans. The pictures Tolkien drew while he was writing "The Lord of the Rings" are more like sketches and doodles in miscalleneous papers that helped him to plan the story and also how it's places would really look like as he said he didn't have time nor want to fully illustrate "The Lord of the Rings". Map sketches and book cover desings are very cool looking and also all the other stuff will certainly satisfy any Tolkien fan who likes to know more about his works.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Leaflet

    The title is misleading. This book is mostly filled with sketches - some very rudimentary - that Tolkien drew to help flesh out his ideas. I lost interest in the text after awhile, but I enjoyed studying the drawings with a magnifying glass (which I highly recommend using unless you have ultra-keen eyesight). Using one enhanced my enjoyment of the drawings a hundredfold as many of them are tiny and faint.

  26. 4 out of 5

    W.G. Saraband

    An absolute gem for fans of Tolkien's work. Showcases a significant amount of original art by JRR Tolkien himself, with extensive commentary on each drawing by the editors, providing very interesting pieces of information. The artwork in itself is really great, the maps are fantastic, and the quality of the book is outstanding. If Tolkien's work is dear to you, don't hesitate. An absolute gem for fans of Tolkien's work. Showcases a significant amount of original art by JRR Tolkien himself, with extensive commentary on each drawing by the editors, providing very interesting pieces of information. The artwork in itself is really great, the maps are fantastic, and the quality of the book is outstanding. If Tolkien's work is dear to you, don't hesitate.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Maija

    An interesting look into Tolkien's own designs and drawings. What I found funny was that a lot of the doodles seemed to be drawn on exam papers, backs of students' essays or course syllabi. Makes me wonder what it would have been like to be his student. An interesting look into Tolkien's own designs and drawings. What I found funny was that a lot of the doodles seemed to be drawn on exam papers, backs of students' essays or course syllabi. Makes me wonder what it would have been like to be his student.

  28. 5 out of 5

    John Gamesby

    This is for the real Tolkienologist and shows the scribbled writings, maps and drawings that went into Lord of the rings. Hardly any of them clear or readable, why bother with them as they are undecipherable. Though it makes a book for the bookshelf.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    The Art of The Lord of the Rings is a magnificent book. Published to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of The Lord of the Rings, this collection of Tolkien’s art was edited by Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond, the top-notch Tolkien scholars previously responsible for The Art of The Hobbit, among other Tolkien-related books. The Art of The Lord of the Rings includes all the art, the maps, the preliminary sketches and final versions that Tolkien sent his publishers for possible use as interior The Art of The Lord of the Rings is a magnificent book. Published to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of The Lord of the Rings, this collection of Tolkien’s art was edited by Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond, the top-notch Tolkien scholars previously responsible for The Art of The Hobbit, among other Tolkien-related books. The Art of The Lord of the Rings includes all the art, the maps, the preliminary sketches and final versions that Tolkien sent his publishers for possible use as interior art and covers, as well as the numerous sketches Tolkien made in various mss. to help him visualize the story and scene. In some cases there are multiple versions of the same image, as Tolkien works through a rough sketch to a version he sent to his publisher, or a finished piece for his own use. In each instance, Scull and Hammond provide both a context for the piece in terms of Tolkien’s composition and in terms of the internal chronologies of LOTR. Full review at Floccinaucical.com

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kicak

    To get through text got me quite few days longer than I expected, but because it's big and heavy book, I could read it only sitting by the desk. I own both "The Art of the Lord of the Rings" and "The Art of the Hobbit", but because I didn't read "Hobbit" just yet, I decided to read this one first. Maybe it's not exactly what I expected from title ("the art" suggests, well, art). But as someone who loves both art and calligraphy, I enjoyed the illustrations enough. Reading let me learn more about To get through text got me quite few days longer than I expected, but because it's big and heavy book, I could read it only sitting by the desk. I own both "The Art of the Lord of the Rings" and "The Art of the Hobbit", but because I didn't read "Hobbit" just yet, I decided to read this one first. Maybe it's not exactly what I expected from title ("the art" suggests, well, art). But as someone who loves both art and calligraphy, I enjoyed the illustrations enough. Reading let me learn more about process of creating my favourite trilogy, I started to wonder how he managed to correct the text with so many changes, minimising all errors (because there are some, of course)? I wish to know what the world looked in Tokien's imagination, how he saw it all in his mind. The book just proves how much effort was put in almost every detail of the book, including maps, alphabet and also dust covers.

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