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Painting of Smaug on his treasure pile

J.R.R Tolkien Was Also a Wonderful Painter


In addition to being one of the greatest fantasy writers of all time, Tolkien also possessed other artistic talents.

J.R.R Tolkien is a planetary example of fantastic literature. His works have been influenced multiple genres and his tales are plagued with incredible descriptions that trigger the imaginations of committed readers. But writing was not the only exemplary talent that this philologist, poet and professor possessed, since drawing, illustration and painting are also included in his treasure chest.

From a young age he became interested in portraiture and landscape painting, a constant practice in his life which helped him model his mature and committed literary works. The illustrations he created for The Lord of the Rings are subtle watercolors and drawings, overflowing with the careful understanding of color and shapes that Tolkien dominated meticulously, and used to project the magical feeling of those enchanted and mysterious worlds which he describes in his books.

J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator stands out from the paraphernalia and countless editions that have appeared over the course of the last decade, it is a wonderful work that explores Tolkien’s extensive labor as an illustrator, a phase that should be recognized by his admirers, both through film and writing. The book was edited by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull, Tolkien experts; it was published by Mariner Books and it has 207 pages which include 200 reproductions of his works.

Sketch of a Hobbit hole

This book shows the drawings and paintings he made since he was a child, to the portraits he made of his children, as well as his visions of Middle Earth. The book also explores the author’s love of calligraphy, decoration and design, as well as the contributions he made to the edition of his books. Another great work that explores this phase in Tolkien’s life is The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. A wonderful work by the same editors and experts on the renowned writer, which, as we mentioned above exclusively focuses on the visual works made for The Hobbit.

With this passion for painting, design and drawing, Tolkien joins the ranks of writers who also possessed great artistic skills, as is the case of Sylvia Plath, William Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor, among many others


Tolkien art of the front gateTolkien painting of the trolls Tolkien landscape painting Painting of the mountain pathPainting of Bilbo on the river Painting of Rivendell


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