Enjoy More of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth Artwork

Rarely Seen Paintings by J.R.R. Tolkien Portray a Lush ‘Lord of the Rings’ Landscape

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Detail from Tolkien's Conversation With Smaug, 1937 Courtesy of the Tolkien Estate / © The Tolkien Estate Limited

by Nora McGreevy/Smithsonianmag.com

In his high-fantasy novels, British author J.R.R. Tolkien combined his academic training in languages and his love of storytelling to create Middle-earth, a fictional continent populated by wizards, elves, orcs, dragons, hobbits, talking trees, and other mythical creatures.

But Middle-earth didn’t just live in Tolkien’s head:

The Lord of the Rings author was also a skilled artist who sketched, painted and mapped the worlds that he was imagining as he wrote about them. Many of the original illustrations in the Hobbit were created by Tolkien himself.

Audiences can now view a selection of Tolkien’s rarely seen Lord of the Rings artworks for free via the Tolkien Estate’s newly updated website, reports Sarah Cascone for Artnet. The portal, which debuted last month, also allows viewers to explore documents, images, and audio clips related to Tolkien’s personal life and his lesser-known pursuits as a mapmaker, calligrapher, and artist.

According to an emailed statement, the site features 12 previously unpublished items, including Tolkien’s paintings of flowers and exotic birds, a draft manuscript of The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth Beorhthelm’s Son (1953), and photographs of the author and his family.

Read More at SmithsonianMag.com

SOURCESmithsonianMag.com

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