See J.R.R. Tolkien's Gorgeous Personal Collection of 'Lord of the Rings' Illustrations

See J.R.R. Tolkien's Gorgeous Personal Collection of 'Lord of the Rings' Illustrations

Feb 20, 2013

Hobbit fans will have to wait several more months to see Peter Jackson's second installment in his new Tolkien adaptation. While we count the seconds till The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug hits theaters this December, website Open Culture has something to cure what ails us. We discovered a collection of J.R.R. Tolkien's personal book cover designs for The Lord of the Rings trilogy. They reveal an imaginative artist behind the epic novels that have entranced readers — and later, film buffs — for generations.

As Open Culture notes, "it’s unclear if these designs ever made it onto books published during his lifetime." However, certain elements of his original artworks — like the eye of Sauron illustration pictured at the very bottom of this post — were featured in some editions (in this case, the first edition of the trilogy).

We also uncovered several gorgeous illustrations Tolkien made for his stories that are featured in a book by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull, J.R.R. Tolkien Artist & Illustrator. The tome contains 200 reproductions of the author's designs, including his childhood paintings, drawings, calligraphy and art Tolkien made for his own children (jealous!). Pick up a copy of the book over here, and head to Flickr or The One Ring for more examples of Tolkien's life as an artist.








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