The Art of The Hobbit by Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull (02.06.11 by Pieter Collier) - Comments

Next year we will celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the publication of The Hobbit and we are of course all waiting for the first glimpses of Peter Jackson's two movie adaptation of the tale. To celebrate the 75th Anniversary we will receive a One Volume Edition of The History of The Hobbit and A Fascimile Edition of The Hobbit, but also a sumptuous full colour art book containing the complete collection of more than one hundred Hobbit sketches, drawings, paintings and maps by J.R.R. Tolkien.

When I read the announcement of The art of The Hobbit I was very happy. It was about time such a book was being made. We have seen many of tolkien's art, both for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, but we never had a book to bring together all his art produced for The Hobbit, the story that started it all.

This large-format, full-colour volume will contain more than 100 paintings and drawings produced by Tolkien to illustrate The Hobbit, or made by him for other purposes but which served as models or inspiration for his Hobbit art.

More than two dozen of these pictures are previously unpublished, and many have never before been printed in colour. Now that sounds fabulous!

Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull will provide an introduction and brief explanatory texts, as well as lay out the art and captions. Since Wayne and Christina are involved we can expect to be this book to be a jewel amongst all art books!

This edition is meant to celebrate the author’s own enduring visions of Bilbo Baggins, Smaug, bag-end, the Misty Mountains, and other characters and places known to readers around the world. Somehow I know Peter Jackson, John Howe and Alan Lee have alreay studied tolkien's own art and I hope they will use them to bring the tale to the screen!
The Art of The Hobbit by Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull

When J.R.R. Tolkien wrote The Hobbit, he was already an accomplished amateur artist, and drew illustrations for his book while it was still in manuscript. The Hobbit as first printed had ten black and white pictures, two maps, and binding and dust-jacket designs by its author. Later, Tolkien also painted five scenes for colour plates which are some of his best work. His illustrations for The Hobbit add an extra dimension to that remarkable book, and have long influenced how readers imagine Bilbo Baggins and his world. To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the publication of The Hobbit, the complete artwork created by the author for his story has been collected in The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Including related pictures, more than one hundred sketches, drawings, paintings, maps, and plans are presented here, preliminary and alternate versions and experimental designs as well as finished art. Some of these images are now published for the first time, and others for the first time in colour. Fresh digital scans from the Bodleian Libraries in Oxford and Marquette University in Wisconsin allow Tolkien’s Hobbit pictures to be seen more vividly than ever before.

About the Authors

The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien has been written and edited by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull, two of the leading experts on Tolkien and authors of the acclaimed J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator, The Lord of the Rings: A Reader’s Companion, and The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide.

Wayne G. Hammond is a librarian at the Chapin Library of Rare Books at Williams College, Massachusetts. Christina Scull is the former librarian of Sir John Soane’s Museum, London.

Title: The Art of the Hobbit
Wayne Hammond, Christina Scull


Publication Date:
December, 2011

hardcover, 128 pages
ISBN-10: 0-00-744081-2
ISBN-13: 978-0-00-744081-8

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