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Art Of The Hobbit (75th Annivesary Edition) [Hardcover]

J.R.R. Tolkien
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 41.99
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Book Description

Dec 5 2011
To celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the publication of The Hobbit, a sumptuous full colour art book containing the complete collection of more than 100 Hobbit sketches, drawings, paintings and maps by J.R.R. Tolkien. 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. 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.

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Art Of The Hobbit (75th Annivesary Edition) + Atlas of Middle-earth
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Product Details


Product Description

About the Author

J.R.R.Tolkien (1892-1973) was a distinguished academic, though he is best known for writing The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion and The Children of Hurin, plus other stories and essays. His books have been translated into over 50 languages and have sold many millions of copies worldwide. 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. As well as publishing books in their own names, together they have written 'J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator', The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion' and the two-volume 'J.R.R.Tolkien Companion and Guide'.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as it sounds Feb. 11 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I wondered what would be the point of buying this book since I already have the book J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator, which is by the same authors. However, being a fan of Tolkien and Middle Earth, I decided to buy it. Overall, I'm less than impressed. J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator was a large size book. By contrast, The Art of The Hobbit is roughly the size of a 78-rpm record...not very big.

This book does have a few gatefolds. However, since there is no actual art on these gatefolds which spans more than one page, I'm puzzled as to why gatefolds were needed. Furthermore, there are many drawings included in this book which are just a few lines that have been scratched onto a piece of paper. This is art?

As for the physical construction of the book, it is very sub-standard. The spine broke on my first viewing. Also, the bottom corner of many of the pages was not clean but rather jagged, since many of the corners were ripped off when the pages were cut during production. This book was printed and bound in Italy...it seems to me like Thames & Hudson needs to find another vendor to print their books.

In my opinion, if you already have J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator, don't bother buying this book. If, however, you can't find J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator, then this book is an acceptable substitute...until you can find something else.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Everything I expected April 24 2014
By Chrissy
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Super fast delivery without paying extra.
This book reveals the many talents of Tolkien.
Great discovery for all who want to know more about the author!
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4.0 out of 5 stars The art of Tolkien Feb. 22 2014
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
When J.R.R. Tolkien wrote his classic book "The Hobbit," he also made several illustrations for it. "The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien" explores all the artwork that Tolkien produced for that book -- every sketch and version of the illustrations, and how they related to the text. It's not a read for casual fans, but for Tolkien aficionados.

Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull carefully study all the pictures Tolkien drew -- the trolls, the interior of Beorn's hall, the entrance to the Elf-King's home, Rivendell from different angles, Bag End and the surrounding Hobbiton, Lonely Mountain, and so on. Each picture is shown in large, clear formats (sometimes with fold-out pages).

But they don't just study the final product. Just about every piece of art Tolkien made for "The Hobbit" is in here, from rough pencil sketches to detailed maps and watercolors. Even the scribbles in the margins are preserved.

And there's a lot of analysis of how these pictures came to be. Scull and Hammond explore Tolkien's "Hobbit" art, artistic influences and the evolution of Tolkien's artwork, as well as some of the changes he made along the way (the Elf-King's gate abruptly changes shape). And they answer some important questions in their analyses, such as... why is Bilbo wearing boots in some of the pictures?

As an artist, Tolkien comes across as possessing real talent, but technically untutored. His art ranges from pencil sketches showing the basic outlines to delicate pen-and-ink work, and even color work in deep earth tones of brown and grey.

He wasn't a great artist -- Scull and Hammond note that he had some artistic issues, such as the scale of furniture in Bag End.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  45 reviews
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must-get for any Tolkien fan! Nov. 10 2011
By Wulfstan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Yes, Tolkien wasn't a professional artist, but his art for the Hobbit really works on many levels, and gives the reader a better idea of what Tolkien had in his fertile and amazing imagination when writing The Hobbit.

Much of the art here has never been seen before. Most versions of the Hobbit have no more than a score of Tolkien's illustrations, if that. A lot of this art was recently discovered among the Master's papers, and now has been digitally scanned and included for your viewing pleasure. (Interesting how few books the Professor wrote but how much background stuff he came up with while writing them, eh?).

True, in some cases, we have several versions of the same scene- several preliminary and then the finished piece. But I think that adds to how Tolkien was developing the scenes in his mind while writing.

Ok, now you know what to get for any LotR fan on your X-mas list
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful! Nov. 7 2011
By Deepa Ramani - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, BEAUTIFUL book :). Containing over a 100 never-before-seen illustrations by Tolkeins himself, this was a magical journey into the world created by Tolkeins that I'd imagined as a kid - and it was almost exactly how I'd imagined it based on his descriptions.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Art of the Hobbit Nov. 28 2011
By denise price - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Beautifully done book of Tolkien's drawings for The Hobbit. Slipcover is incredible!!! A must for a Tolkien collector. If you order buy two, one to keep wrapped up and one to use...it will be a collectors item!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The art of Tolkien Sept. 25 2012
By E. A Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
When J.R.R. Tolkien wrote his classic book "The Hobbit," he also made several illustrations for it. "The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien" explores all the artwork that Tolkien produced for that book -- every sketch and version of the illustrations, and how they related to the text. It's not a read for casual fans, but for Tolkien aficionados.

Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull carefully study all the pictures Tolkien drew -- the trolls, the interior of Beorn's hall, the entrance to the Elf-King's home, Rivendell from different angles, Bag End and the surrounding Hobbiton, Lonely Mountain, and so on. Each picture is shown in large, clear formats (sometimes with fold-out pages).

But they don't just study the final product. Just about every piece of art Tolkien made for "The Hobbit" is in here, from rough pencil sketches to detailed maps and watercolors. Even the scribbles in the margins are preserved.

And there's a lot of analysis of how these pictures came to be. Scull and Hammond explore Tolkien's "Hobbit" art, artistic influences and the evolution of Tolkien's artwork, as well as some of the changes he made along the way (the Elf-King's gate abruptly changes shape). And they answer some important questions in their analyses, such as... why is Bilbo wearing boots in some of the pictures?

As an artist, Tolkien comes across as possessing real talent, but technically untutored. His art ranges from pencil sketches showing the basic outlines to delicate pen-and-ink work, and even color work in deep earth tones of brown and grey.

He wasn't a great artist -- Scull and Hammond note that he had some artistic issues, such as the scale of furniture in Bag End. But his artwork does have a raw, almost primal power that really draw you in, and his careful attention to detail (EVERY tree in Mirkwood is on the map!) shows the level of passion he had for this project.

"The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien" will seem a bit dry to casual readers, but Tolkien aficionados will not want to miss the insights that are unveiled about Tolkien's "Hobbit" art.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gift Jan. 9 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is a wonderful gift to all fans of Tolkien. The production quality of the book is excellent, the content is beautiful.

My wife has one of the early Unwin and Allen printings of the Hobbit, which features many of the illustrations in this book. To see the complete art and process of creation of it is a great treat indeed.

Highly recommended. 5 stars doesn't come close to a fair rating for this gem.
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