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Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien republished after 30 years

Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien, first published in 1979, is being republished on 11 November 2021 for the first time since 1992. Edited and collected by Christopher Tolkien, the book brings together around 50 pieces of artwork by J.R.R. Tolkien in this unique collection which showcases Tolkien’s artistic talent.

Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien
Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien (click to expand)

In recent years there has been increased attention on Tolkien as an artist. Following on from the first publication of Pictures of J.R.R. Tolkien in 1979, we have seen selected pieces of artwork in the History of Middle-earth, series, but we have also seen more substantial collections edited by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull: J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator (1995), The Art of The Hobbit (2011), and The Art of The Lord of the Rings (2015). And Tolkien’s artworks have been immortalised in tapestry form at Aubusson, a selection of which were also on display at the “Tolkien, voyage en Terre du Milieu” exhibition at the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris.

This new edition is in a similar format to both The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien and The Art of The Lord of the Rings, and includes the original commentary by Christopher Tolkien providing useful information on his father. The blurb from the publisher is as follows:

With Christopher Tolkien as your guide, take a tour through this colourful gallery of enchanting art produced by J.R.R. Tolkien and presented in an elegant new slipcased edition.

This collection of pictures, with a text by Christopher Tolkien, now reissued after almost 30 years confirms J.R.R. Tolkien’s considerable talent as an artist. It provides fascinating insight into his visual conception of many of the places and events familiar to readers of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion.

Examples of his art range from delicate watercolours depicting Rivendell, the Forest of Lothlórien, Smaug, and Old Man Willow, to drawings and sketches of Moria Gate and Minas Tirith. Together they form a comprehensive collection of Tolkien’s own illustrations for his most popular books.

Also included are many of his beautiful designs showing patterns of flowers and trees, friezes, tapestries and heraldic devices associated with the world of Middle-earth. In their variety and scope they provide abundant visual evidence of the richness of his imagination.

This enchanting gallery was personally selected by Christopher Tolkien who, through detailed notes on the sources for each picture, provides unique insight into the artistic vision of his father, J.R.R. Tolkien.

Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien is republished in this new edition on 11 November 2021 for £25/€30/$35 (USD).

About the Author: Shaun Gunner
Shaun is the Chair of The Tolkien Society. First elected in 2013, Shaun has overseen the Society's expansion from 600 to 2,500 members. Shaun regularly speaks about adaptations of Tolkien's works and the future of Tolkien scholarship whilst passionately believing the Society needs to reach out to new audiences. In his spare time he can be found playing video games and Lego, or on Twitter.