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The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

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To celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the publication of The Hobbit, a sumptuous full-colour art book containing the complete collection of more than 100 Hobbit sketches, drawings, paintings and maps by J.R.R. Tolkien. When J.R.R. Tolkien wrote The Hobbit, he was already an accomplished amateur artist, and drew illustrations for his book while it was still in manuscript. The To celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the publication of The Hobbit, a sumptuous full-colour art book containing the complete collection of more than 100 Hobbit sketches, drawings, paintings and maps by J.R.R. Tolkien. When J.R.R. Tolkien wrote The Hobbit, he was already an accomplished amateur artist, and drew illustrations for his book while it was still in manuscript. The Hobbit as first printed had ten black and white pictures, two maps, and binding and dust-jacket designs by its author. Later, Tolkien also painted five scenes for colour plates which are some of his best work. His illustrations for The Hobbit add an extra dimension to that remarkable book, and have long influenced how readers imagine Bilbo Baggins and his world. To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the publication of The Hobbit, the complete artwork created by the author for his story has been collected in The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Including related pictures, more than one hundred sketches, drawings, paintings, maps, and plans are presented here, preliminary and alternate versions and experimental designs as well as finished art. Some of these images are now published for the first time, and others for the first time in colour. Fresh digital scans from the Bodleian Libraries in Oxford and Marquette University in Wisconsin allow Tolkien’s Hobbit pictures to be seen more vividly than ever before. The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien has been written and edited by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull, two of the leading experts on Tolkien and authors of the acclaimed J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator, The Lord of the Rings: A Reader’s Companion, and The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide.


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To celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the publication of The Hobbit, a sumptuous full-colour art book containing the complete collection of more than 100 Hobbit sketches, drawings, paintings and maps by J.R.R. Tolkien. When J.R.R. Tolkien wrote The Hobbit, he was already an accomplished amateur artist, and drew illustrations for his book while it was still in manuscript. The To celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the publication of The Hobbit, a sumptuous full-colour art book containing the complete collection of more than 100 Hobbit sketches, drawings, paintings and maps by J.R.R. Tolkien. When J.R.R. Tolkien wrote The Hobbit, he was already an accomplished amateur artist, and drew illustrations for his book while it was still in manuscript. The Hobbit as first printed had ten black and white pictures, two maps, and binding and dust-jacket designs by its author. Later, Tolkien also painted five scenes for colour plates which are some of his best work. His illustrations for The Hobbit add an extra dimension to that remarkable book, and have long influenced how readers imagine Bilbo Baggins and his world. To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the publication of The Hobbit, the complete artwork created by the author for his story has been collected in The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Including related pictures, more than one hundred sketches, drawings, paintings, maps, and plans are presented here, preliminary and alternate versions and experimental designs as well as finished art. Some of these images are now published for the first time, and others for the first time in colour. Fresh digital scans from the Bodleian Libraries in Oxford and Marquette University in Wisconsin allow Tolkien’s Hobbit pictures to be seen more vividly than ever before. The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien has been written and edited by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull, two of the leading experts on Tolkien and authors of the acclaimed J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator, The Lord of the Rings: A Reader’s Companion, and The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide.

30 review for The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bookdragon Sean

    This is an impressive book full of Tolkien’s original art. It’s extraordinary to see the paintings and drawings from the man who devised the Middle Earth universe himself, rather than another’s interpretation. Despite his apparent modesty toward his own work, some are quite developed such as the forests and mountains. Fangorn forest is drawn in a way that evokes the presence of mystery, of magic: it is all in the colour of the trees. Also included are very simple sketches that are Tolkien’s very This is an impressive book full of Tolkien’s original art. It’s extraordinary to see the paintings and drawings from the man who devised the Middle Earth universe himself, rather than another’s interpretation. Despite his apparent modesty toward his own work, some are quite developed such as the forests and mountains. Fangorn forest is drawn in a way that evokes the presence of mystery, of magic: it is all in the colour of the trees. Also included are very simple sketches that are Tolkien’s very first drawings of the Hobbit. It is delightful, in some cases, to see these grow from very rough outlines into the famous paintings that adorn the pages of The Hobbit in its original published copy. The annotations of the images are explanatory and definitive as they discuss the origins of each piece. Alan Lee is wonderful and everything, but his work will only ever be interpretations despite how grand it is. Seeing Tolkien’s own visual ideas, despite his limited artistic talent, was rather informative. So this is a welcome volume to my ever growing Tolkien bookshelf. Following on from this though, I highly recommend avoiding The Art of The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien because that doesn’t actually display any art, just a few lines and very vague sketches Tolkien never wanted published. This is the best collection of his art that I’ve come across.

  2. 3 out of 5

    Kaitlin

    This is a book I picked up as research for my Dissertation and I have to say it's well worth the read even if you're not writing a dissertation about it. This book collects a vast amount of Tolkien's original artworks (which he himself was highly critical of) and shows them right from the inception (pencil lines sketches) right through to the final Ink or Watercolour illustrations that made it into the print versions of the book. I found it to be a fascinating look at not only Tolkien's art, but This is a book I picked up as research for my Dissertation and I have to say it's well worth the read even if you're not writing a dissertation about it. This book collects a vast amount of Tolkien's original artworks (which he himself was highly critical of) and shows them right from the inception (pencil lines sketches) right through to the final Ink or Watercolour illustrations that made it into the print versions of the book. I found it to be a fascinating look at not only Tolkien's art, but an insightful tale of how the book gradually became the final product and the various mistakes, edits and revisions to the artwork and maps along the way. I loved being able to find out the quotes which related directly to the images (as these were frequently referenced) and see exactly what Tolkien was thinking when he began the illustrating process. He never truly wanted to be an artist and never fully considered his work to be of a high quality, but he tirelessly revised and reworked to get the best images he could (not being one for people it was usually landscape and architecture-based) and you can see the naive passion and love he had for the world through them. I also found that the way the book is written and laid out is concise and easy to follow with images being displayed in chronologic order from inception to final piece and then each being related to a certain chapter/place in the text. The way it was laid out allowed the reader to follow the way that Tolkien discovered and invented his sets and worlds and really gave a sense of the magical place he imagined Middle-Earth to be. On the whole it's a solid, wonderful book with some stunning images and great original artworks. I would highly recommend this if you have a particular liking for the Hobbit, J R R Tolkien or knowing exactly how the process of making this renowned little book began. A great 4* read.

  3. 3 out of 5

    Albus Eugene Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore

    i figli ... che pubblico meraviglioso ... Il libro raccoglie e descrive le illustrazioni che Tolkien realizzò nel corso degli anni, per le varie edizioni dello Hobbit. Troviamo schizzi, bozzetti, disegni a china e acquerello. Tutti descritti e spiegati con dovizie di particolari e di significativi riferimenti all’intreccio della trama. Tolkien sviluppò (e disegnò) la storia narrata nello Hobbit in più riprese. Ebbe quattro figli e, nel 1930, John aveva dodici anni, Michael dieci, Christopher se i figli ... che pubblico meraviglioso ... Il libro raccoglie e descrive le illustrazioni che Tolkien realizzò nel corso degli anni, per le varie edizioni dello Hobbit. Troviamo schizzi, bozzetti, disegni a china e acquerello. Tutti descritti e spiegati con dovizie di particolari e di significativi riferimenti all’intreccio della trama. Tolkien sviluppò (e disegnò) la storia narrata nello Hobbit in più riprese. Ebbe quattro figli e, nel 1930, John aveva dodici anni, Michael dieci, Christopher sei e Priscilla uno. I vari capitoli dello Hobbit, nella loro prima stesura, facevano parte delle storie invernali, che a casa Tolkien il padre, dopo il té del pomeriggio, leggeva ai propri figli. Tolkien era anche un pittore dilettante. Era meno abile nel ritrarre le persone, ma dimostrava un certo talento nel rappresentare paesaggi ed elementi naturali. Per lo Hobbit, Tolkien aveva confezionato quello che lui definiva un primo “manoscritto domestico” e, man mano, aveva arricchito la storia con illustrazioni realizzate da lui stesso. La creazione di storie ed il disegno facevano parte integrante della famiglia Tolkien. Tant’è che finchè i figli furono piccoli, nel mese di dicembre di ogni anno, Tolkien scriveva una lunga lettera, fingendo che fosse scritta da Babbo Natale e dai suoi aiutanti, ed in cui si narrava di strabilianti avventure ambientate al Polo Nord. Ogni lettera era scritta con una grafia differente. Quelle scritte, ad esempio, da un vecchissimo Babbo Natale, avevano una grafia incerta e tremolante. Le buste riportavano timbri e francobolli del ... Polo Nord! Ciascuna lettera, per la gioia dei bimbi, era corredata da una o più illustrazioni. Lo Hobbit viene pubblicato nel 1937 e già la prima edizione comprende alcune illustrazioni realizzate da Tolkien. Per le successive edizioni e poi per la prima edizione americana, Tolkien realizzò nuovi disegni e affinò, in accordo con gli editori, i precedenti. Lo scrittore, per le sue illustrazioni, utilizzava indifferentemente la matita o l’inchiostro o lapis colorati, e talvolta, l’acquerello. Però, per non far aumentare i costi di stampa delle prime edizioni, limitò, tranne alcune eccezioni, l’uso del colore. Alcune illustrazioni ricordano i bellissimi disegni dello straordinario e sfortunato (morì di tisi a soli 26 anni) Aubrey Beardsley. Ogni capitolo del libro si sofferma su un tema particolare. Ritroviamo così Gran Burrone, la Mappa di Thror, la Sala di Beorn, il Bosco Atro, la Mappa delle Terre Selvagge e tanti altri schizzi e disegni che raffigurano i passi più importanti dell’avventura. Di ogni disegno ne viene spiegata la genesi, l’evoluzione, le scelte operate per il loro inserimento nel libro. Si conclude con l’immagine dell’Ingresso della Caverna-Hobbit di Bilbo. Così il cerchio si chiude. Si chiude anche il libro, ma è un po’ come chiudere un atlante. Lo riprenderai di nuovo in mano tutte le volte che ti verrà in mente di andare a vedere come sono fatte le Montagne Nebbiose o la Città di Esgaroth o la Montagna Solitaria. Certo, nulla a che vedere con la bellezza delle matite di Alan Lee, raccolte nel magnifico “The Lord of the Ring – Sketchbook” . Libro stupendo, che mi ha aperto un mondo di grafica e di sogno, scoperto grazie ad Ale*es, che non smetterò di ringraziare. Ma di questa piccola meraviglia vorrò parlarne solo quando sarò in grado di pubblicarne alcune immagini incantevoli. Per adesso … studio. [Jan 2013 + Sep 2018]

  4. 3 out of 5

    Jen

    I am pretty sure that Tolkien can do no wrong in my eyes, so maybe I'm a bit biased. But I really did enjoy this book, a collection of Tolkien's own artwork he did for the Hobbit. While it is semi-helpful to have read the Hobbit to understand what sections the art is trying to portray, the compilers (Hammons and Scull) do a good job of explaining each set of pieces, how they developed, and what part of the story they are to represent. It was interesting to see some of the rough drafts and how Tol I am pretty sure that Tolkien can do no wrong in my eyes, so maybe I'm a bit biased. But I really did enjoy this book, a collection of Tolkien's own artwork he did for the Hobbit. While it is semi-helpful to have read the Hobbit to understand what sections the art is trying to portray, the compilers (Hammons and Scull) do a good job of explaining each set of pieces, how they developed, and what part of the story they are to represent. It was interesting to see some of the rough drafts and how Tolkien's conversations with the publishers polished those drafts. I was not educated to how they printed things in books at that time, so that explanation was interesting to me. Not only are the explanations well done, but the book contains 106 of Tolkien's scribbles, drawings, and paintings. Some of them very well realized and polished. I knew he had drawn his own maps for Hobbit and LOTR, but to see some of these others was pretty neat. A good book for lovers of Tolkien and/or Art.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    I really enjoyed this book - and I actually read the text, rather than just flipping through which I often do with these kinds of books. It was really interesting to see the progress between initial sketch and final illustration, and I love so many of his images. There is something about the stylization, especially of trees and mountains, that makes me happy just by looking at it. Plus, it is so worth it to see high quality reproductions, since a lot of the nuance is lost in the published versio I really enjoyed this book - and I actually read the text, rather than just flipping through which I often do with these kinds of books. It was really interesting to see the progress between initial sketch and final illustration, and I love so many of his images. There is something about the stylization, especially of trees and mountains, that makes me happy just by looking at it. Plus, it is so worth it to see high quality reproductions, since a lot of the nuance is lost in the published version of The Hobbit.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ellen Trautner

    I finished this half a month ago, but was so busy traveling I didn't get a chance to review it. In a word: great! Despite knowing that Tolkien drew his own maps and pictures for The Hobbit, it never really clicked with me that he was a legitimate artist. The authors clearly did a lot of research and found early versions and sketches of the illustrations in the book and the cover art. They include highly detailed, quality reproductions of all of them, and added some other painting and drawings To I finished this half a month ago, but was so busy traveling I didn't get a chance to review it. In a word: great! Despite knowing that Tolkien drew his own maps and pictures for The Hobbit, it never really clicked with me that he was a legitimate artist. The authors clearly did a lot of research and found early versions and sketches of the illustrations in the book and the cover art. They include highly detailed, quality reproductions of all of them, and added some other painting and drawings Tolkien did that were connected. The pictures are on fold out pages. Most of the book are the pictures, with short descriptions of their evolution to final book form. If you are interested in how the hobbit developed, both the story and the look of it, this is another great piece to explore.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Darth

    So. Fucking. Cool. It's amazing to see the genius of JRR Tolkien like this. He really was absolutely amazing. But, as I learned from this, he thought his art was really bad and would often call himself an amatuer artist. Thing is though, I think if a writer can draw, as Tolkien definitely could, their art does more justice to whatever they're trying to create than another artist can. I mean sure, Ted Nasmith has created some amazing artwork of Middle-earth. But I just think Tolkien's work is so So. Fucking. Cool. It's amazing to see the genius of JRR Tolkien like this. He really was absolutely amazing. But, as I learned from this, he thought his art was really bad and would often call himself an amatuer artist. Thing is though, I think if a writer can draw, as Tolkien definitely could, their art does more justice to whatever they're trying to create than another artist can. I mean sure, Ted Nasmith has created some amazing artwork of Middle-earth. But I just think Tolkien's work is so much more *there*. Does that make sense? The maps and the calligraphy are absolutely fascinating. He was crazy good at cartography and calligraphy it's insane. The fact he put so much effort into creating his world that he created several letters and maps that the reader would never see speaks to how truly prolific the man really is. I think I need to buy this book so I can stare at it forever.

  8. 3 out of 5

    Scott

    Not only was Tolkien an excellent author, he was an excellent illustrator and designer. It was fascinating to see his design process for the original cover of The Hobbit. The illustrations in this book show how Tolkien envisioned the world of Middle Earth. Many of the illustrations included show various stages of development, form initial drawings, to the refined illustration.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cat Spydell

    I adore this book! It is absolutely stunning, and the information provided with each piece of art is fascinating. As a huge Tolkien fan, I am surprised that I have found yet another dimension into my favorite author, in his art and his biography. I am so glad I bought The Art of The Hobbit! A keeper.

  10. 3 out of 5

    Andd Becker

    Artists and scholars will gain insights through the artwork (sketches, drawings, paintings) of Tolkien and the detailed commentary of Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Gregory

    Fascinating look at Tolkien's artwork included (and not included) in the publication of The Hobbit. One thing I came away with (beyond a better appreciation for his eye to detail) is that the current publishers of this classic text are mostly lazy and cheap. I own several editions and none have reproduced the original cloth cover as published by Allen & Unwin. Even a recent reproduction of the original dust-jacket art is compromised by not making the physical book's dimensions the same. Wond Fascinating look at Tolkien's artwork included (and not included) in the publication of The Hobbit. One thing I came away with (beyond a better appreciation for his eye to detail) is that the current publishers of this classic text are mostly lazy and cheap. I own several editions and none have reproduced the original cloth cover as published by Allen & Unwin. Even a recent reproduction of the original dust-jacket art is compromised by not making the physical book's dimensions the same. Wonderfully insightful and detailed book but it can leave the loving fan disappointed at today's publishers.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Scott Tervo

    Tolkein’s artwork for the Hobbit. Very pleasant on the eye. Looks different from my own imaginary Middle-Earth, (which resembles the movies) but this art is Tolkein’s own and gives a new understanding of the world he created.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dimitra

    I was always looking for a collection of J.R.R. Tolkien's art... And I finally found one! This book is so...precious!!! Such an amazing work and study on the illustrations made by the man who created one of the most epic stories/universes of all time. Stunning! Absolutely STUNNING!

  14. 3 out of 5

    Colin

    Really good quality book with all the illustrations Tolkien made for the Hobbit. The only thing that could have been improved is that although there were many unnecessary fold-out pages (with pictures no larger than the ordinary page size), the original dust jacket art was printed on one page and was too small to appreciate, this is the one image in the book that would have benefited from a fold out page where the picture would have filled the extended page width!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rosemary

    A very well crafted and beautifully illustrated book. Most of the original J.R.R. Tolkien illustrations came from the Bodleian Library at Oxford University which most readers would not get the chance to see otherwise. All the different versions and sketches J.R.R. Tolkien drafted for the different British and American versions were incredibly interesting. I would recommend this book to any hobbit enthusiast.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jon Dalvy

    Truly a gift! The authors and historians involved with this quintessential "art of" entry to the Tolkien pantheon go above & beyond what's expected when first opening the book. The personal, rare notes & sketches from Tolkien's hands are a delight, and much inspiration can be found here for any fellow author & illustrators.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Meg

    A beautiful trip through both the sketches of Tolkien's Hobbit, but also a trip through the creative process which led to the final illustrations, end pages, outer design, and cover for the novel. Not only can the man write, he can draw.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Metin Yılmaz

    Tolkien'in çizimlerini görmek güzeldi. Özellikle kapak tasarımına verdiği önem ve özen gerçekten takdire şayan. Günümüzde yapılan tasarımları görünce Tolkien'in yaptıkları gözümün önüne gelecek artık.

  19. 3 out of 5

    Kristin Eoff

    This book is full of color reproductions of Tolkien's artwork for The Hobbit. I hadn't known before that Tolkien was not only an amazing author but also an accomplished artist. His strength lay in drawing architecture and landscapes, and many of the pieces he produced for The Hobbit are absolutely lovely. (Drawing people was NOT his forte.) His work is representative of the charming 1930s Art Deco aesthetic, with a touch of whimsy thrown in via cheerful dragons and cozy hobbit holes. One of the This book is full of color reproductions of Tolkien's artwork for The Hobbit. I hadn't known before that Tolkien was not only an amazing author but also an accomplished artist. His strength lay in drawing architecture and landscapes, and many of the pieces he produced for The Hobbit are absolutely lovely. (Drawing people was NOT his forte.) His work is representative of the charming 1930s Art Deco aesthetic, with a touch of whimsy thrown in via cheerful dragons and cozy hobbit holes. One of the marks of Tolkien's genius was that he was able to create a complete fantasy world with its own races, languages, landscapes, mythology, history, alphabets, architecture, poetry and folklore, and these drawings give us a glimpse of this world through the eyes of their creator. This is a fascinating book for those who are interested in art or Lord of the Rings.

  20. 4 out of 5

    anolinde

    Interesting, but definitely a money-grabber. There were lots of instances where the artwork cited was a few pages ahead of the text; maybe this was unavoidable, but it made it difficult to concentrate on both.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jeni Enjaian

    I absolutely loved this book as I knew that I would. The authors attend to every possible detail in the artistic works of Tolkein. His ability to capture his imagined world in art astounds me. This book is a must own for all fans of art and especially all fans of Tolkein.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Candice Snow

    Brings a tear to my eye. I've wanted this for my collection for so long!!!

  23. 3 out of 5

    Tex-49

    Interessante catalogo di tutti gli schizzi (abbozzi compresi) preparati da Tolkien stesso per illustrare lo Hobbit.

  24. 4 out of 5

    J

    I read this book a little while after reading Lotr and the Simarillion. It was excellent and insightful.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Marta

    Nazwisko Tolkiena znane jest każdemu, kto przez ostatnie kilka dekad nie żył w jaskini odcięty od świata. Choć tytuły jego dzieł z pewnością będą w stanie wymienić także ci czytelnicy, którzy stronią od fantastyki, niewiele osób zdaje osób sobie sprawę z talentu plastycznego autora „Władcy pierścieni”. Tymczasem brytyjski pisarz od najmłodszych lat parał się amatorsko rysunkiem i kaligrafią. Był samoukiem, a największe zdolności przejawiał w tworzeniu krajobrazów, przyrody i architektury. Słabo Nazwisko Tolkiena znane jest każdemu, kto przez ostatnie kilka dekad nie żył w jaskini odcięty od świata. Choć tytuły jego dzieł z pewnością będą w stanie wymienić także ci czytelnicy, którzy stronią od fantastyki, niewiele osób zdaje osób sobie sprawę z talentu plastycznego autora „Władcy pierścieni”. Tymczasem brytyjski pisarz od najmłodszych lat parał się amatorsko rysunkiem i kaligrafią. Był samoukiem, a największe zdolności przejawiał w tworzeniu krajobrazów, przyrody i architektury. Słabo radził sobie z kolei z przedstawianiem postaci. Można by potraktować te informacje jako zaledwie ciekawostki dotyczące życia literata, gdyby nie fakt, iż w angielskich i amerykańskich wydaniach „Hobbita” ilustracje autorstwa Tolkiena stanowiły integralny element publikacji. Tym, co szczególnie rzuca się w oczy podczas lektury „Hobbita w malarstwie…”, jest perfekcjonizm autora. Tolkien po wielokroć szkicował i malował jedną ilustrację, eksperymentował z perspektywą, techniką i detalami, aż do chwili, gdy efekt końcowy uznał za zadowalający. Wszystkie zachowane warianty każdej z prac zawarto oczywiście w niniejszej publikacji, czytelnik może więc śledzić ewolucję koncepcji i zmiany dokonane na etapie szkiców, rysunku wykonanego kredkami lub tuszem i obrazów malowanych akwarelami. Wayne G. Hammond i Christina Scull zdecydowali się także na powiększenie, zestawienie ze sobą i skomentowanie niektórych elementów prac, jak na przykład przedstawień Bilba. Również w przypadku map Śródziemia możemy porównać ze sobą różne ich warianty i prześledzić zachodzące zmiany. Powstało w sumie pięć map, z których ostatecznie dwie — Mapę Throra i Mapę Dzikich Krain — autor uznał za niezbędne dla czytelnika i wymagające pojawienia się w „Hobbicie”. Pisarz zadbał nie tylko o geografię krainy i estetykę wykonania, lecz także o liternictwo. Tolkien zajmował się też projektowaniem okładki i obwoluty do pierwszego wydania „Hobbita” — w niniejszej publikacji znajdziemy kilka wersji poszczególnych stron okładki i zdobiących ją ornamentów. Reprodukcję obwoluty (w wersji o większej liczbie barw, czyli takiej, jakiej bezskutecznie życzył sobie autor), znajdziemy również na kartonowym etui „Hobbita w malarstwie…”. Prace plastyczne Tolkiena doceniane były przez krytyków i recenzentów „Hobbita”. Niestety, z uwagi na ograniczenia ówczesnych technik drukarskich oraz niewielki budżet wydawnictwa Allen & Unwin, ostateczna forma opublikowanych ilustracji nie była tym wariantem, jaki wymarzył sobie pisarz. Zmniejszono ilość map i użytych kolorów, niektóre z prac przycięto i pozbawiono tytułowych winiet. Choć późniejsze wydania angielskie i amerykańskie zostały poprawione i opublikowane w takiej formie, w jakiej życzyłby sobie tego autor, to polscy czytelnicy przez długie lata byli pozbawieni możliwości zakupu „Hobbita” z ilustracjami Tolkiena. Pod koniec ubiegłego roku pojawił się co prawda obszerny „Hobbit z objaśnieniami”, który zawiera akwarele pisarza, ale dla odbiorców posiadających już egzemplarz powieści ciekawą alternatywę stanowi recenzowany album, koncentrujący się wyłącznie na omówieniu i zaprezentowaniu ilustracji. „Hobbit w malarstwie i grafice J.R.R. Tolkiena” to nie lada gratka dla prawdziwych znawców twórczości ojca fantasy. Choć Tolkien to przede wszystkim mistrz pióra, to i z pędzlem radził sobie niezgorzej. Jego prace plastyczne są kolejnym wyrazem zaangażowania w tworzony na kartach książek świat Śródziemia i świadectwem dbałości o najmniejsze szczegóły związane z publikacją jego powieści. Należy jednak pamiętać o tym, że album ten skierowany jest przede wszystkim do pasjonatów, których zaciekawi porównywanie kilku wersji Bramy króla elfów czy Mapy Throra. Pozostałym wystarczy pewnie lektura samego „Hobbita”. --- Zarówno tę recenzję, jak i wiele innych tekstów znajdziecie na moim blogu: http://oceansoul.waw.pl/ Serdecznie zapraszam!

  26. 3 out of 5

    Neil R. Coulter

    I love beautiful Tolkien books, and I love beautiful art books. The Art Of The Hobbit is a beautiful Tolkien art book (and I love it). We own a lot of Tolkien books (I have a hard time resisting any new edition of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings), and this one is one of my favorites. It was a birthday gift from my wife a few years ago, and I'd been saving it for a while, expecting that I would really enjoy it (I don't know why I do this with books sometimes). What Hammond and Scull have put I love beautiful Tolkien books, and I love beautiful art books. The Art Of The Hobbit is a beautiful Tolkien art book (and I love it). We own a lot of Tolkien books (I have a hard time resisting any new edition of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings), and this one is one of my favorites. It was a birthday gift from my wife a few years ago, and I'd been saving it for a while, expecting that I would really enjoy it (I don't know why I do this with books sometimes). What Hammond and Scull have put together is an example of the kind of presentation that is possible now that we're on the other side of the publication of Christopher Tolkien's History Of Middle-Earth series, Douglas Anderson's The Annotated Hobbit (which is what Hammond and Scull use as their primary authoritative source text), and John Rateliff's History of the Hobbit--all of which are excellent and highly recommended for any Tolkien bookshelf. Hammond and Scull, seemingly effortlessly, weave together strands of information and history from Tolkien studies, inviting the reader into an engaging and informative tour of Tolkien's artwork.If a book can be judged by its cover (and despite the saying, we all know that a great many books can be so judged), then The Art of the Hobbit gets high marks just from its packaging. People who care little about Tolkien will probably wonder why the work of an amateur artist merits such lavish beauty in production. But for those of us who are fans, there is so much here to love. The book itself is housed in a sturdy cardboard slipcase (which I assume will keep the book covers from bending with humidity). The slipcase shows Tolkien's painting for the dustjacket, and when you pull out the book, you see that the book cover shows one of Tolkien's drawings for the entrance to the elvenking's hall. The matching symmetry of the two illustrations is striking, and makes for a wonderful reveal when the book is removed from the slipcase. The artwork presented within the book is large and (in some cases for the first time) shown in its original quality (subtle shading preserved, colors accurate).I highly recommend this for any Tolkien-loving family's bookshelf. It is an instant favorite for me.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ea Solinas

    When J.R.R. Tolkien wrote his classic book "The Hobbit," he also made several illustrations for it. "The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien" explores all the artwork that Tolkien produced for that book -- every sketch and version of the illustrations, and how they related to the text. It's not a read for casual fans, but for Tolkien aficionados. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull carefully study all the pictures Tolkien drew -- the trolls, the interior of Beorn's hall, the entrance to the Elf- When J.R.R. Tolkien wrote his classic book "The Hobbit," he also made several illustrations for it. "The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien" explores all the artwork that Tolkien produced for that book -- every sketch and version of the illustrations, and how they related to the text. It's not a read for casual fans, but for Tolkien aficionados. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull carefully study all the pictures Tolkien drew -- the trolls, the interior of Beorn's hall, the entrance to the Elf-King's home, Rivendell from different angles, Bag End and the surrounding Hobbiton, Lonely Mountain, and so on. Each picture is shown in large, clear formats (sometimes with fold-out pages). But they don't just study the final product. Just about every piece of art Tolkien made for "The Hobbit" is in here, from rough pencil sketches to detailed maps and watercolors. Even the scribbles in the margins are preserved. And there's a lot of analysis of how these pictures came to be. Scull and Hammond explore Tolkien's "Hobbit" art, artistic influences and the evolution of Tolkien's artwork, as well as some of the changes he made along the way (the Elf-King's gate abruptly changes shape). And they answer some important questions in their analyses, such as... why is Bilbo wearing boots in some of the pictures? As an artist, Tolkien comes across as possessing real talent, but technically untutored. His art ranges from pencil sketches showing the basic outlines to delicate pen-and-ink work, and even color work in deep earth tones of brown and grey. He wasn't a great artist -- Scull and Hammond note that he had some artistic issues, such as the scale of furniture in Bag End. But his artwork does have a raw, almost primal power that really draw you in, and his careful attention to detail (EVERY tree in Mirkwood is on the map!) shows the level of passion he had for this project. "The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien" will seem a bit dry to casual readers, but Tolkien aficionados will not want to miss the insights that are unveiled about Tolkien's "Hobbit" art.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Gene Kannenberg Jr

    The Art of the Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien is everything it should be. It reproduces every surviving image author J.R.R. Tolkien produced for his children's novel The Hobbit (1937) and provides copious contextualizing essays by editors Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull. I'm no Tolkien expert (far from it!), but the text seemed extremely authoritative, based on solid research and textual understanding. Several gatefolds throughout allow easy comparison of Tolkien's various drafts of many illustra The Art of the Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien is everything it should be. It reproduces every surviving image author J.R.R. Tolkien produced for his children's novel The Hobbit (1937) and provides copious contextualizing essays by editors Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull. I'm no Tolkien expert (far from it!), but the text seemed extremely authoritative, based on solid research and textual understanding. Several gatefolds throughout allow easy comparison of Tolkien's various drafts of many illustrations, sometimes evolving from just a few scratched lines to eventual woodcut-like ink drawings or lush watercolor paintings Some of Tolkien's early drawings seem positively amateurish, but I find many of the finished pieces simply breathtaking in their beauty. This book demonstrates that the painstaking care he put into his writing applied equally well to his artwork. Since maps play a large role in creating the scope of Tolkien's Middle Earth, it's gratifying to see their development here, as his skills improved and his story concepts changed or expanded. Being a publication design nerd, I especially appreciated the attention paid by the text - and by Tolkien himself - to even the smallest things, like the decorative elements embossed on the hardcover. This book may have been timed to coincide with the release of the upcoming motion picture, but this is no quickie tie-in product. It's a substantial volume in its own right. [originally published here: http://one-sentence-reviews.blogspot.... ]

  29. 4 out of 5

    Stuart

    When reading through various editions of The Hobbit, which I own, I find myself puzzled by the lack of illustrations in a book of this nature. There's a scant few and a map or two, but not nearly enough to capture the beauty of Tolkien's words. When going through the hundreds of documents in Tolkien's estate, scores of illustrations were found and scanned to create the book The Art of the Hobbit. The book itself is 150 pages and hardcover, measuring in at 10" x 10". It's an odd-size for a shelf, When reading through various editions of The Hobbit, which I own, I find myself puzzled by the lack of illustrations in a book of this nature. There's a scant few and a map or two, but not nearly enough to capture the beauty of Tolkien's words. When going through the hundreds of documents in Tolkien's estate, scores of illustrations were found and scanned to create the book The Art of the Hobbit. The book itself is 150 pages and hardcover, measuring in at 10" x 10". It's an odd-size for a shelf, but you'll probably not have it on the shelf much and find yourself flipping through it or displaying on the coffee table. The book contains over 100 original Tolkien sketches, illustrations, and maps. Tolkien was not a trained artist by any means, but his artwork would make you think otherwise. Like, the words in his books, which went through numerous changes, his maps and illustrations did as well. The book does a nice job of capturing the evolution of his artwork, going from very crude sketches to beautiful masterpieces of pen and ink, sometimes even full color. Accompanying each illustration is text excerpts from The Hobbit and explanations of the illustration, the changes in the illustration (if there were multiple illustrations of the same scene), and commentary on why Tolkien chose to illustrate something a particular way. This is truly a beautiful book, but if I had to change one thing about it, it would be that some of the pages fold out. I'd rather there be no fold-out pages, but that is a minor gripe for such a treasure of a book.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Camilla

    This book is so close to being perfect. It's a beautiful art book filled with what I believe is every found piece of art Tolkien made for The Hobbit. I learned a lot about Tolkien--I didn't even know The Hobbit had illustrations (though since starting this I picked up a copy with some of them), or that Tolkien was a fairly talented artist. He's strongest with landscapes and towns, but not very good with human figures, as he'd be the first to admit. I was extremely impressed with all of the more This book is so close to being perfect. It's a beautiful art book filled with what I believe is every found piece of art Tolkien made for The Hobbit. I learned a lot about Tolkien--I didn't even know The Hobbit had illustrations (though since starting this I picked up a copy with some of them), or that Tolkien was a fairly talented artist. He's strongest with landscapes and towns, but not very good with human figures, as he'd be the first to admit. I was extremely impressed with all of the more finished pieces.Yes, just the more finished pieces, and that is what stops the book from being perfect for me. The Art of The Hobbit is extremely in depth, and includes some pieces of paper Tolkien barely sketched on. These pictures left me yawning, honestly, and I didn't find them worth reproducing for entertainment purposes. For the Tolkien scholars amongst his fans, I'm sure these are extremely interesting and important, but for me they simply weren't.This truly lovely art book has, in addition to gorgeous full color reproductions of Tolkien's art, context and textual comparisons between different stages of the artwork, which I found extremely interesting. It's good fun to see the art progress, but I was really pleased to read about why Tolkien made some of the changes he did. Besides a few somewhat boring bits, I found this book to be wonderful. I would recommend it to any fan of Tolkien, and especially to the more serious ones looking for drafts of his art.

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