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Realms of Tolkien: Images of Middle-Earth [Hardcover]

J.R.R. Tolkien , Alan Lee , John Howe , Ted Nasmith , Inger Edelfeldt
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov 1996
Following the success of "Tolkien's World," this new collection of shining illustrations inspired by the work of J.R.R. Tolkien is as beautiful and unique as its predecessor. This breathtaking four-color volume is designed in a deluxe, oversized format, and includes paintings from a diverse group of international artists. Each picture is accompanied by text from the relevant passage in Tolkien's fiction as well as a personal statement by the artist about the inspiration and influence J.R.R. Tolkien has had on their work. Includes works by an electric group of artists, both famous and up-and-coming: Alan Lee, renowned for his atmospheric interpretations of folklore and legend, as well as his stunning illustrations for "The Lord of the Rings" John Howe, creator of many Tolkien book covers and acclaimed for his powerful representations of the landscapes and peoples of Middle-earth Ted Nasmith, known for his classically accurate and dramatic pictures Inger Edelfeldt, illustrator of many beautiful and unusual Tolkien calendars, book covers and posters.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; First Edition edition (Nov 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061055328
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061055324
  • Product Dimensions: 29.2 x 22.8 x 2.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 936,895 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

J.R.R. Tolkien was born on 3rd January 1892. After serving in the First World War, he became best known for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, selling 150 million copies in more than 40 languages worldwide. Awarded the CBE and an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Oxford University, he died in 1973 at the age of 81.

Product Description

From the Back Cover

J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle – earth, created in his classic works 'The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings' and 'The Silmarillion', has for more than half a century inspired artists around the world. 'Realms of Tolkien 'is a celebration of Tolkien's imagination and the ingenuity of artists like Alan Lee, John Howe and Ted Nasmith who choose to realise his fantasy – every one of the 58 paintings offers a unique interpretation of Tolkien's realm, while retaining that familiar quality that makes it undeniably 'Tolkien'. Twenty new and familiar Tolkien artists are represented in this fabulous volume, breathing an extraordinary variety of life into 58 different scenes, each of which is accompanied by the appropriate passage from 'The Hobbit' and 'The Lord of the Rings'.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Alan Lee has illustrated The Lord of the Rings and is currently working on the illustration of The Hobbit. John Howe has illustrated many Tolkien covers, including the whole series of ‘The History of Middle-earth’. Ted Nasmith and Inger Idelfeldt have both produced illustrations for Tolkien Calendars, posters and book covers.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The sublime and ridiculous 26 Feb 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Middle-Earth fan art is in general a mixed bag -- for every glorious painting by John Howe, there's another picture out there that makes Legolas look like a cross-dressing girl. So it's not a surprise that "Realms of Tolkien: Images of Middle-Earth" also has the good, the bad, and the really ugly.

First, let it be known that several pictures by Alan Lee and John Howe are in here. Howe's breathtakingly vivid paintings rather like still photos, including the lovely picture that inspired Peter Jackson's Bag End. Moviegoers will also see other scenes from the films reflected in his pictures. Alan Lee, on the other hand, produces art that is more delicate and muted, relying on detail rather than a sense of action.

Several other artists back them up, and some are quite good -- Ted Nasmith creates colorful, vivid images; his exquisite "Grey Havens" picture is particularly lovely. Inger Enderfeldt's are delicate and classic-looking. Some do well on only some pictures, such as Tony Ide: his rendering of Theoden in battle is pretty good, but his Treebeard picture is bizarre. Same with Fletcher, who does a good job with Gandalf on Gwaihir the eagle, yet makes the fearsome Lord of the Nazgul look like a squat astronaut on a stone horse.

And then there's the really bad stuff. Alessandra Cimatoribus tries to render Treebeard as a sort of stained-glass window, and the result is just weird and squashed. Ita Muscad makes the hobbits look like tots, and Treebeard (see a trend here?) like a giant wrinkly turnip. And Cor Blok is the worst, making childish little sketches with dresses, moon-like faces and stick feet. Worst of all, he makes Gollum look like a duck.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
The followup to TOLKIEN'S WORLD: IMAGES OF MIDDLE EARTH, REALMS OF TOLKIEN offers more artistic renditions of (primarily) THE LORD OF THE RINGS. The lion's share of illustrations go to the more famous artists (John Howe, Alan Lee, Ted Nasmith), but there's enough odd detours to make this both a mainstream representation of Tolkien's Middle-earth and a delightfully eclectic collection of art. (Cor Blok's in particular are wonderfully odd, and Tolkien himself approved of Blok's paintings). There are 58 paintings total. Like the previous volume, Tolkien's text accompanies each illustration.

What steps this up above the previous collection is where that one only had 9 artists, and Howe, Lee, and Nasmith contributed 30 of the 60 paintings, REALMS OF MIDDLE EARTH have 20 artists. While the three aforementioned still contributed a lot, REALMS is a much more diverse collection than TOLKIEN'S WORLD, making it a more intriguing package overall. I still like Howe the best. He captures the dark and the light very well. Though I don't agree with all the visual interpretations, alternate points of view are what make books such as this so appealing. It's certainly quite a book.

THE LORD OF THE RINGS is the primary focus of this book. 44 of the 58 paintings come from LOTR, including Howe illustrating THE RETURN OF THE SHADOW, Vol VI of HISTORY OF MIDDLE EARTH, and MORGOTH'S RING. There are 12 illustrations depicting THE HOBBIT. There are 2 by Howe illustrating UNFINISHED TALES and MORGOTH'S RING. No other works are represented. THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING has 18 paintings (including Howe's illustration from RETURN OF THE SHADOW). THE TWO TOWER has 18 paintings. THE RETURN OF THE KING has 8 paintings.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good collection, though not without flaws. 1 Oct 1998
By A Customer
This collection contains some fantastic art, but also some which will certainly not appeal to all tastes. I guess the beauty of this collection is that it contains such a diversity of art; so though it is probable that there will be some you don't like there should be more that you do. If you are a fan of fantasy art it should appeal, if you are a Tolkien fan with a minimal interest in Middle Earth art then it may still appeal, such is the quality of some of it, but may not appeal enough. Certainly worth considering though as it is well put together.
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