In Pictures: JRR Tolkein’s Estate Releases Rarely Seen ‘Lord of the Rings’ Drawings and Other Books
The estate of acclaimed author JRR Tolkien has released a new website showcasing artwork, some previously unpublished, by the author of The Hobbit and its associated trilogy, The Lord of the Rings.
A linguist who created the land of Middle-earth to bring his invented languages to life, Tolkien was also a talented artist and cartographer who illustrated his ideas.
The father of the modern fantasy genre, Tolkien died in 1973. His books became bestsellers, selling over 100 million copies. the Lord of the Rings sold since their initial release between 1954 and 1955.
Tolkien’s art and writing went hand in hand, with illustrations being an integral part of his creative process. Sometimes the words inspired the artwork, and sometimes drawing a scene moved the narrative forward in new directions.
The author has meticulously mapped the world of Middle-earth to ensure the precise movements of its wide cast of characters.
In addition to a number of detailed maps, the estate has published illustrations that Tolkien created for The Hobbit, The Lord of the Ringsand The Silmarillion, as well as drawings he made for his children, landscapes from nature and imagined abstractions. The works are each accompanied by detailed descriptions.
New website material includes a timeline of Tolkien’s life and examples of his calligraphy.
There are also previously unseen photographs of Tolkien and his family, including his son Christopher, who drew the final versions of the the Lord of the Rings maps for publication. He died in 2020.
The domain launched the site on February 26, an important date in the Lord of the Rings traditions. This marks the time when, in 3019, the Fellowship of the Ring was shattered, and Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee left for Mordor alone.
The series reached a new audience when director Peter Jackson helmed the award-winning film The Lord of the Rings film trilogy from 2001 to 2003, and followed it with a prequel trilogy for The Hobbit from 2012 to 2014. A new streaming series, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Powerbased on Tolkien’s story of Middle-earth, is currently in production with Amazon, slated for release September 2.
See more of Tolkien’s artwork below.
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