VIEW OVER MIRKWOOD
by Artist ALAN LEE 1997
inspired by THE HOBBIT of J. R. R. Tolkien
UNUSED MODERN C. 1997 ART REPRINT POST CARD POSTCARD
APPROX. SIZE OF CARD: 6.25" X 4.75"
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J. R. R. Tolkien
Born John Ronald Reuel Tolkien 3 January 1892 (1892-01-03) Bloemfontein, Orange Free State
Died 2 September 1973 (1973-09-03) (aged 81) Bournemouth, England
Occupation Author, Academic, Philologist
Genres Fantasy, High fantasy, Translation, Criticism
Notable work(s) The Hobbit
The Lord of the Rings
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE (3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973) was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion. Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford from 1925 to 1945, and Merton Professor of English Language and Literature from 1945 to 1959. He was a close friend of C. S. Lewis – they were both members of the informal literary discussion group known as the Inklings. Tolkien was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II on 28 March 1972. After his death, Tolkien's son, Christopher, published a series of works based on his father's extensive notes and unpublished manuscripts, including The Silmarillion. These, together with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, form a connected body of tales, poems, fictional histories, invented languages, and literary essays about an imagined world called Arda, and Middle-earth within it. Between 1951 and 1955 Tolkien applied the word legendarium to the larger part of these writings. While many other authors had published works of fantasy before Tolkien, the great success of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings when they were published in paperback in the United States led directly to a popular resurgence of the genre. This has caused Tolkien to be popularly identified as the "father" of modern fantasy literature—or more precisely, high fantasy. Tolkien's writings have inspired many other works of fantasy and have had a lasting effect on the entire field. In 2008, The Times ranked him sixth on a list of 'The 50 greatest British writers since 1945'.
The Hobbit, or There and Back Again is a fantasy novel and children's book by J. R. R. Tolkien. Set in a time "Between the Dawn of Færie and the Dominion of Men", The Hobbit follows the quest of home-loving Bilbo Baggins to win a share of the treasure guarded by the dragon, Smaug. It was published on 21 September 1937 to wide critical acclaim, being nominated for the Carnegie Medal and awarded a prize from the New York Herald Tribune for best juvenile fiction. The book remains popular and is recognised as a classic children's book. Bilbo's journey takes him from light-hearted, rural surroundings into darker, deeper territory. The story is told in the form of an episodic quest, and most chapters introduce a specific creature, or type of creature, of Tolkien's Wilderland. By accepting the disreputable, romantic, fey and adventurous side of his nature (the "Tookish" side) and applying his wits and common sense, Bilbo develops a new level of maturity, competence and wisdom. The prose adventure is interspersed with songs and poetry, many of which serve to lighten the tone of otherwise frightening or dramatic scenes. The final chapters deal with the climactic Battle of Five Armies, where many of the characters and creatures from earlier chapters re-emerge to engage in conflict. Critics have drawn parallels with Tolkien's own experiences and the themes of other writers who fought in World War I. A sequel was requested by his publishers, and as work on the The Lord of the Rings progressed, Tolkien made retrospective accommodations for it in one chapter of The Hobbit. These few but significant changes were integrated into the second edition. Further editions followed, correcting minor errors and reflecting Tolkien's changing concept of the world into which Bilbo stumbled. The work has never been out of print since the paper shortages of the Second World War. Its ongoing legacy encompasses many adaptations for stage, screen, radio, and gaming, both board and video games. Some of these adaptations have received critical recognition of their own, including a video game that won the Golden Joystick Award, a scenario of a war game that won an Origins Award, and an animated picture nominated for a Hugo Award.
The Hobbit films
The Hobbit, based on the novel of the same name by J. R. R. Tolkien, is a two-film series in development for release in December 2011 and December 2012. The films will be directed by Guillermo del Toro, with The Lord of the Rings film trilogy director Peter Jackson serving as executive producer and co-writer. Originally, the first film would have adapted The Hobbit and the second would have bridged the gap between this and The Lord of the Rings, but it is now the director's intention to split and expand the narrative of The Hobbit over the two films.
|Alan Lee (illustrator) (born 1947), English book illustrator and movie conceptual designer |
Born 20 August 1947 Middlesex, England
Field Illustration, painting, conceptual design
Training Ealing School of Art
Awards Chesley Award1989, 1998
Kate Greenaway Medal 1993
World Fantasy Award 1998
Academy Award 2004
Alan Lee (20 August 1947) is an English book illustrator and movie conceptual designer. He was born in Middlesex, England and studied at the Ealing School of Art.
Lee has illustrated dozens of fantasy books, including some nonfiction, and many more covers. Among the most notable interiors are several works of J.R.R. Tolkien: the centenary edition of The Lord of the Rings (1991), a 1995 edition of The Hobbit, and the first edition of Narn i Chîn Húrin: the tale of the children of Húrin (2007). The latter is his work most widely held in WorldCat participating libraries. Other books he has illustrated include Faeries (with Brian Froud), Lavondyss by Robert Holdstock (as well as the cover of an early print of this book), The Mabinogion (two versions), Castles and Tolkien's Ring (both nonfiction by David Day), The Mirrorstone by Michael Palin, The Moon's Revenge by Joan Aiken, and Merlin Dreams by Peter Dickinson.
He has also illustrated retellings of classics for young people. Two were Rosemary Sutcliff's versions of the Iliad and the Odyssey—namely, Black Ships Before Troy (Oxford, 1993) and The Wanderings of Odysseus (Frances Lincoln, 1995). Another was Adrian Mitchell's version of Ovid's Metamorphoses—namely, Shapeshifters (Frances Lincoln, 2009).
Lee did cover paintings for the 1983 Penguin edition of Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast trilogy. He also did the artwork for Alive!, a CD by the Dutch band Omnia, released on 3 August 2007 during the Castlefest festival.
Watercolour painting and pencil sketches are two of Lee's common media.
Lee and John Howe were the lead concept artists of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movies, and were contacted by former director Guillermo del Toro to keep continuity of design for the Hobbit films. In a documentary interview on the extended edition of Fellowship of the Ring, Jackson details the story of how he managed to contact Lee, a rather reclusive man, in his home in the south of England. By couriering a package to him containing two of Jackson's previous films, Forgotten Silver and Heavenly Creatures, with a note from himself and Fran Walsh, Alan's interest was piqued enough to become involved. He went on to illustrate and even help construct many of the scenarios for the movies, including objects and weapons for the actors. He also made two cameo appearances, in the opening sequence of The Fellowship as one of the nine kings who became the Nazgul, and in The Two Towers as one Rohan soldier in the armoury (over the shoulder of Mortenson as Aragorn and Legolas talk in Elvish).
Lee has also worked as a conceptual designer on the films Legend, Erik the Viking, King Kong and the television mini-series Merlin. The art book Faeries, produced in collaboration with Brian Froud, was the basis of a 1981 animated feature of the same name.
Two years after completion of the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, Lee released a 192-page collection of his conceptual artwork for the project, entitled The Lord of the Rings Sketchbook (HarperCollins, 2005). Film director Peter Jackson said, "His art captured what I hoped to capture with the films."
For his 1978 book with Brian Froud, Faeries, Lee was runner-up for the science fiction and fantasy Locus Award, year's best art or illustrated book.
For illustrating Merlin Dreams by Peter Dickinson (1988), he won the annual Chesley Award for Best Interior Illustration and he was a highly commended runner-up for the Greenaway Medal. He also won the BSFA Award for Best Artwork, for that year's best single new image.
Five years later he won the Kate Greenaway Medal from the Library Association, recognising the year's best children's book illustration by a British subject. The book was Black Ships Before Troy by Rosemary Sutcliff, a version of the Trojan War story.
For the 60th anniversary edition of The Hobbit, Tolkien's 1937 classic, Lee won his second Chesley Award for Interior Illustration (he is a finalist eight times through 2011). For that year's work he won the annual World Fantasy Award, Best Artist, at the 1998 World Fantasy Convention.
In 2000 he won the competitive, juried Spectrum Award for fantastic art in the grandmaster category.
Lee, Grant Major and Dan Hennah earned the 2004 Academy Award for Best Art Direction for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, third in the film trilogy.