J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator (Anglais) Broché – 18 octobre 2000
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J.R.R. TOLKIEN: ARTIST & ILLUSTRATOR explores Tolkien's art at length, from his childhood paintings and drawings to his final sketches. At its heart are his illustrations for his books, especially his tales of Middle-earth. Also examined are the pictures Tolkien made for his children, his expressive calligraphy, his love of decoration, and his contributions to the typography and design of his books.
With 200 reproductions, many in full colour, this lavishly-produced book offers a perfect opportunity for anyone wishing to discover a largely unexplored aspect of J.R.R. Tolkien's character.
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Dans ce livre(En savoir plus)
In Tolkien's story Leaf by Niggle the title character is a painter, but 'not a very successful one, partly because he had many other things to do.' Lire la première page
Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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Le magnifique livre "Tolkien, artiste et illustrateur" donne une idée de l'étendue des talents de cet homme incroyable, qui a peint des aquarelles et fait des dessins à couper le souffle. Qu'il s'agisse d'illustrations pour les histoires qu'il racontait à ses enfants, ou de dessins des hauts lieux de la Terre du Milieu, Tolkien fait preuve d'une créativité et d'un talent rare.
Les textes qui accompagnent ses oeuvres permettent de les replacer dans le contexte de l'histoire à laquelle elles appartiennent, mais aussi dans l'histoire personnelle de Tolkien, évoquant ses projets, ses inspirations.
En somme, un livre à ne pas rater si l'on est fan de Tolkien en particulier, ou d'art en général.
My favorite drawing in this book is "End of the World" done in pencil and colored pencil on a sheet of notebook paper - you can actually see the lines of the paper. It is so simple; yet, the story it tells includes subtle intricacies and complexities similar to those in his writings. I also love the pencil and colored pencil drawing, "The Tree of Amalion," which obviously blooms with the flowers of Tolkien's imagination since they do not resemble traditional flowers. Finally, the hand drawn Christmas cards are beautiful mini-stories with dancing bears and penguins, and Father Christmas making deliveries.
This book is truly exquisite, full of details and surprises for those of us who didn't know Tolkien was an extremely talented artist. It is a worthwhile purchase in my opinion.
J.H. Sweet, author of The Fairy Chronicles
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The commentaries on the pictures, the selection of which is the broadest of any publication featuring Tolkien's artwork, provide a clear and thorough explanation of how and when the pictures were created. The context thus provided enables other Tolkien researchers to examine the evolving landscape of Middle-earth as no other source text does.
When fans ask if Tolkien ever envisioned certain things clearly, they need only turn to this book to see that indeed he did. J.R.R. Tolkien was one of the few authors with the talent to actually illusrtrate his own characters and worlds. The experience of seeing all these images in one volume is exhilarating. It's almost like a long lost Tolkien book had been found in some dusty archive.
This book contains all the artwork that Tolkien created (NOT all the artwork BASED on his works, just the stuff he did himself!). Some are miscellaneous sketches and doodles, some are watercolors, ink drawings, prints, pencil sketches, and combinations of all of the above. One doodle looks like multicolored snowflakes, some are landscapes or pictures of little houses, teddy bears, owls, and so on. Very cute and cool, especially the illustrations done for "Roverandum."
And many are Middle-Earth related -- different views of the Misty Mountains or the Elvenking's hall, the evolution of what the Shire looked like, different Laketowns, different "Doors of Durin," even drawings of the tattered pages of the Dwarf Book of Moria. Near the end, even Tolkien's design drawings for LOTR book covers are included. And, of course -- MAPS! Maps of Wilderland, as well as the famous map from "Hobbit."
The text accompanying these many pictures carefully dissects all of the drawings and their importance, as well as how they evolved. (It's a bit like looking at concept art) As well as going over only Tolkien's work, Wayne G. Hammond also examines influences on Tolkien's artwork. For example, there is a fairy-tale picture that influenced a "Hobbit" picture, and a scientific drawing of a golden eagle that influenced another "Hobbit" picture with Bilbo.
This is a must-read for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien, a great peek into a great mind. And it emphasizes that Tolkien was not just a brilliant writer, but a brilliant artist as well. Great stuff, definitely a must-see.
Tolkien's strengths seem to have been equally divided between watercolors and sketches. He seldom ever drew a human face, but his Middle Earth-related landscapes are marvelous. He was able to stare at a tree and capture every detail, even with one silly lead pencil on mealy yellow paper. His crests are also of important historical note (and could teach graphic designers a thing or two). Some readers will be amused at the randomness of his paper choices but amazed at how serious and detailed his doodles were.
So after saying all that, allow me to explain my "4 star" reasoning before you jump all over me. Yes, Tolkien's art is fascinating and fabulous, and I appreciate the inclusion of so many pieces (even unfinished sketches). What I don't like is the amount of pieces that were included as black-and-white pictures. Some black ink sketches (or black lead pencil sketches) were included in color (this is obvious due to the yellowed nature of the paper, which you wouldn't see if they were B&W images), yet some color sketches - and even some watercolors! - were included as B&W. I realize that this was most likely a budgeting issue, but it's sloppy given the details that Tolkien put into his art. By printing them as B&W, we lose out on a lot of details and moods. Certainly there are color pieces included in this book, and we get to see the really spectacular ones in all their glory, but I feel like we're not getting the 100% complete picture (pun intended) of his visual art.
Another particular complaint of mine is the use of numbering all illustrations but sometimes leaving this numbering to twist anonymously in the wind. Numbering plates is well and good, but there is no master list anywhere plainly describing a timeline or probable year of creation. I searched in vain for such a page and was only met with text endnotes. Some of these endnotes do reveal dates, and the written text does discuss some dates, but this feels partial somehow (I believe the authors even discuss a few drawings that are NOT actually included for viewing in the book). I realize that some dates are uncertain (Tolkien saved almost every scrap he generated, but was not necessarily a good history recorder), but approximations for *all* the works would have been nice. Knowing which order the drawings were made would also be a significant aid to watching the progression of ideas. This book was assembled under the full authorization of the Tolkien Trust/Estate (therefore it would have been proofread or at least glanced at during the editing process by knowledgeable people), and a lack of this detail is disappointing.
What's the difference between this book and the earlier, much-lauded "Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien"? Well, for one thing, many of the pieces included in "Pictures" are printed in a much larger size, sometimes even taking up a full page. "Pictures" is, shall we say, rather *lean* on written text because the main point there is to show the art off and enjoy it. Readers (or viewers, as the case may be) are encouraged to muse on the meanings for themselves. This means that more of the project budget must have been directed towards both color printing and larger image size. However, the relative rarity and fairly high price of "Pictures" shuts many people out from buying it. In that case, "Artist and Illustrator" (which averages 75% cheaper in price) is a fine alternative. The feel of "Artist and Illustrator" is a bit more academic and attempts to analyze the images (sometimes excessively), whereas "Pictures" is a pure eye candy experience. I'm not going to say that one is necessarily better than the other ("Pictures" does, after all, have much fewer illustrations included), but potential buyers should know that they ARE different entities in some ways. I'm not berating the efforts of Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull - they should be praised for taking such pains to discuss a relatively ignored area of Tolkien's life - nor am I saying it's a waste of time to read this book. This is time well spent to read this book, rest assured! I am merely pointing out that there are differences between this book and other sources. Even if you buy this just for the pictures and ignore the text, it's still well worth the money!
A must for Tolkien fans or aspiring fantasy artists, even with its minor flaws.
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