23 Jun 2009

Words of Art in Middle-earth

(J.R.R.Tolkien - Bilbo comes to the Huts of the Raft Elves)

Tolkien's publisher believed he could not draw after seeing the maps Professor Tolkien made for the books, however Tolkien was about to prove his publisher wrong as he was more then capable to show his readers the images he was already painting with his words. His beautiful drawings and painting with their very characteristic style have inspired all the greatest Tolkien's illustrators.

One of these illustrators is Maurice Sendak that drew some sketches for an illustrated edition of The Hobbit, and even met with Tolkien to talk about it. Unfortunately, the book was never published (never finished?), apparently because Sendak suffered a heart attack, which is a shame because the only sketch I could find by Sendak on The Hobbit is truly beautiful.

One of my favourite Tolkien-inspired illustrators is David Wenzel (click to visit his website) .All his work is fantastic but he is best best known for his graphic novel adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit which is a masterpiece, one of the few 'complete' adaptations on the book. Davis Wenzel's work is clearly a labour of love and passion in getting every last part of the story there.

(One Morning in the Shire by David Wenzel)

(Hobbit Panorama by David Wenzel)