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Tolkien Calendar 2011 [Calendar]

J.R.R. Tolkien


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Book Description

Aug. 9 2010

The Tolkien Calendar 2011 features 13 paintings by the artist Cor Blok. Cor Blok is the only artist ever to have met JRR Tolkien, and the only artist Tolkien admired enough to purchase some of his work. The paintings are inspired by Tolkien’s classic masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings and were completed during the early 1960s when the young artist was attempting to create a Bayeux tapestry approach to illustrating this monumental book. Many of this paintings included here have never been seen before. This delightful collection of scenes takes the reader on a unique journey through the beauty and drama of Middle-earth. It represents a truly charming addition to the series of official calendars by a gifted artist, and promises to be a memorable calendar for fans.


Product Details

  • Calendar: 24 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; Wal edition (Aug. 9 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062022172
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062022172
  • Product Dimensions: 30.6 x 30 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #343,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973) was a major scholar of the English language, specializing in Old and Middle English. Twice Professor of Anglo-Saxon (Old English) at the University of Oxford, he also wrote a number of stories, including most famously The Hobbit (1937) and The Lord of the Rings (1954-1955), which are set in a pre-historic era in an invented version of the world which he called by the Middle English name of Middle-earth.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 2.9 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Original, And Very Different, Vision Of Middle earth Sept. 4 2010
By John D. Cofield - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
The 2011 Tolkien calendar is a major departure from previous calendars, which either with Tolkien's own art or with that of other artists, have depicted Middle earth's landscapes, personalities, and events with great detail. Cor Blok is a Dutch artist who painted the 14 scenes between 1958 and 1962. He visited J.R.R. Tolkien in 1962 and impressed him enough to sell him two of his Middle earth paintings.

In the two page introduction Blok provides for the calendar he draws a distinction between "depicting" and "describing", and refers to his work as "accompanying" rather than "illustrating" The Lord of the Rings. His artwork focusses on the book's characters but only attempts to distinguish them through their weapons, hats, and size. Background detail is minimal to non-existent. Blok admits altering the story in favor of dramatic or artistic license, as in September's "The Slaying of the Nazgul", where Eowyn kills the Ringwraith with a spear rather than a sword so Blok could have the Ringwraith tower above the scene with Merry slipping in with his knife below. Blok's Gollum is especially odd, as Tolkien himself pointed out, appearing lizard-like with a tail rather than as a pitiful hobbit relative.

While it will take some getting used to, I believe I will enjoy this calendar in 2011. The paintings have a lot of energy and color, especially my favorites, August's "Battle of the Hornburg," May's "Ents Marching on Isengard" and the cover illustration of the Oliphaunt.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointed Jan. 6 2011
By Samwise Gamgee - Published on Amazon.com
I get that the beauty of art is "in the eye of the beholder" but I must agree with the other reviewer who said he was not interested in staring at this art for an entire month, every month for a year. Sure, it's interesting, but not as a calendar. I can appreciate the artist's approach, and it is actually wonderful to see a completely different viewpoint on creating art for Tolkien's world. I just don't want to stare at it for a year! While the images are interesting, they are not "delightful" nor do they inspire reflection on what was going on in Middle Earth during the scene which is depicted, or how I was feeling when I was reading that part, etc. This will be the first time since they started being published in 1973 that I don't have a Tolkien calendar hanging on my wall. I'd rather look at last years all over again. In fact, I may just do that, just to have the images on my wall. I hope next year's is better. My apologies to Cor Blok. I just think, for me, these are the wrong images for a calendar. Others feel differently, I know. It's all a matter of personal taste.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A different yet fascinating view of Middle Earth Oct. 28 2010
By PeggyV - Published on Amazon.com
This year is definitely a departure from the 'standard form' that many are used to but to me, it is a wonderful addition to the Tolkien Official Calendar collection.

Cor Blok is someone not many are familiar with, even among the Tolkien core fans. I ran into his illustrations some years ago by pure accident. He visited Master Tolkien who liked his work and purchased two of them, in addition to the one he got from Blok as a present. Blok went on to produce the covers for the 1965 unified Dutch edition of Lord of the Rings, as well as the individual books edition that followed.

He created his Tolkien pieces at the time when a lot of artists went for plenty of colours and detail and he wanted to go opposite of this. He also wanted paintings that resembled the old art which influenced the way these were made, that account for the patina of a sorts that is apparent. His style is different for sure but open you mind and truly look. He goes deeper than the mere surface of the story, his paintings tell of the emotion underneath, that very same thing that got so many of us to love Tolkien's world in the first place. It is, in a way, Tolkien laid bare, and what a wonderful world it is. There is no need for all those additional colours or details when you are looking at essence of the books themselves captured in these illustrations.

As a bit of curiosity - 'The Stairs of Cirith Ungol' is Blok's favourite piece and I saw it for the first time here. I found it incredibly touching and it certainly captured the emotions of that moment in fullest - do we really need anything else?

In the end I would like to ask just for a bit of respect for the artist. I understand that people may not like the style, are used to something else, are even disappointed. There is still no need for off handed comments like some here.

Give it a chance. It is something different indeed but for me, a marvellous edition to Tolkien calendars and an honouring of a sorts, of a man whose work was appreciated and loved by Tolkien himself. So many people thought Tolkien's books were childish, out of the norm and not something to even give a chance to; let us not be like that. I hope you'll give a chance to this calendar and the wonderful illustrations within that may not be the 'norm' but are the essence of Tolkien instead and what more can we ask for?
24 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Kiddie scrawls Sept. 22 2010
By J. Lody - Published on Amazon.com
Cor Blok may have impressed Tolkien back in the '60s, but his kiddie scrawls don't impress me in the least. I have no desire to gaze at these silly primitivist renderings for an entire year! Primitivism and minimalist interpretation have their place, but that place does not include Middle-Earth, in my opinion. These works would be quaint for a gallery exposition, but for a Tolkien calendar, I want to be transported by vivid images that approach realism, not some goofy dutchman's stylized cartoons. PU!

Imploring note to Christopher T. & siblings: Please don't try this again! Stick with Naismith and Howe, et al!
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Utter trash. Nov. 7 2011
By Breanna Cogle - Published on Amazon.com
I am so disappointed and disgusted with this calender and even more so that they chose this talentless goof ball as the artist for the 2012 calender. I will not be buying Tolkien calenders so long as they feature these mindless child cave wall drawings. I have been buying the Tolkien calenders faithfully for years and it is heart breaking to pass them up for both 2011 and 2012. Whether Tolkien himself liked this artist or not is irrelevant. The artist does NOT capture the soul of Tolkien's world in any regard. The art is so silly and soulless. Totally unappealing to the eye and the imagination.

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