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Looking for Tolkien Approved Illustrated Version of LOTR

1stvermont

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I am looking for a illustrated copy of Lord of the Rings and am leaning towards Alan Lee's version

http://www.tolkien.co.uk/product/9780007525546/The+Lord+of+the+Rings


I am specifically looking for a version that will present middle earth in a realistic non cartoon/fantasy manner. Tolkien viewed middle earth as real history and did not like the normal fantasy/Disney portrayal of "fantasy" books. So i am also looking for any version by artists he generally approved of. Any ideas or suggestions would help, thanks.
 

Elthir

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I don't think there's an illustrated edition that Tolkien himself approved. If I recall correctly, the artists that he liked in his day never ended up doing an illustrated edition.

In general, JRRT liked Pauline Baynes -- The Adventures of Tom Bombadil -- but for example, according to John Rateliff Tolkien appears to have generally disliked her interpretation of the Fellowship (the Nine Walkers), which had been included on one of her maps.
 
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Squint-eyed Southerner

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I agree on Alan Lee-- suitably grim, with a kind of medieval feel. It reminds me of the person who wrote to Tolkien that he reserved his reading for Lent, "because it was so hard and bitter".

For a more colorful take, I like Ted Naismith, who's especially good for expansive landscapes.

Depends on your mood, I guess.
 

Elthir

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Considering what Tolkien said about illustrating fairy stories (which I won't quote here), his own art, and that he liked certain images (with respect to The Lord of the Rings and The Adventures of Tom Bombadil) by Cor Blok, Mary Fairburn and Pauline Baynes, my guess is that JRRT would have enjoyed this approach . . . for examples (that I certainly like) by Jian Guo.


80d696ced8f990c044b25ffa95fc9146[1].jpg

And for a First Age example . . .

d6ee3cf0159ab0e523e753c314002676[1].jpg

Fingon!
 

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