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Rarely Published Maps and Paintings by J.R.R. Tolkien Go Online

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 22, 2022

painting by J.R.R. Tolkien of Hobbiton

map by J.R.R. Tolkien from The Hobbit

calligraphy by J.R.R. Tolkien

map by J.R.R. Tolkien from The Hobbit

drawing by J.R.R. Tolkien of a coiled dragon

The Tolkien Estate has built a new website dedicated to J.R.R. Tolkien and it includes dozens of hard-drawn maps, illustrations, paintings, and calligraphic works done by the author in the course of writing his books. Tolkien was a talented artist and his maps and visual art were an integral part of his work. From Artnet:

Tolkien’s art and writings went hand and hand, with illustrations serving as an an integral part of his creative process. Sometimes the words would inspire the artwork, and sometimes drawing a scene would move the narrative in new directions.

The author meticulously mapped out the world of Middle Earth to ensure the accurate movements of his large cast of characters.

I was lucky enough to see some of these maps and drawings in person at this 2019 exhibition at the Morgan Library — great stuff. (via @tedgioia)