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Tolkien Illustrated: Anke-Katrin Eissmann #6: Calling all Faramir fans!


Apr 14 2007, 3:37pm

Post #1 of 12 (619 views)
Tolkien Illustrated: Anke-Katrin Eissmann #6: Calling all Faramir fans! Can't Post

Calling all Faramir fans!

Faramir in Ithilien
Without a doubt, Faramir is Anke Eissmannís favorite character. Iíve selected pictures of Faramir with Boromir, with Denethor, and of course, with Eowyn, plus a couple by himself. In these pictures as with so many others, we see the depiction of charactersí relationships with each other. For those who dislike the look of Eissmannís faces, I can well imagine that the Eowyn pictures especially will not be pleasing, but I may be surprised. And Curious, if youíre reading this, the last picture will be my way of admitting that I think you were right in one of your first posts Ė Eissmann does like to dream about dreamy men.

After the dream (2005)

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"'For on the eve of the sudden assault a dream came to my brother in a troubled sleep; and afterwards a like dream came oft to him again, and once to me.'"

Father and Son (2002)

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"Do you wish then,' said Faramir, 'that our places had been exchanged?' 'Yes, I wish that indeed,' said Denethor. 'For Boromir was loyal to me and no wizard's pupil.

Last Counsel (2005)

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"Gandalf it was that last spoke to Faramir ere he rode east."

Last of all he came (2006)

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"Last of all he came. His men passed in. The mounted knights returned, and at their rear the banner of Dol Amroth, and the Prince. And in his arms before him on his horse he bore the body of his kinsman, Faramir son of Denethor, found upon the stricken field."

Denethor grieves for his son (2002)

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"During all this black day Faramir lay upon his bed in the chamber of the White Tower, wandering in a desperate fever; dying, someone said, and soon 'dying' all men were saying upon the walls and in the streets. And by him his father sat, and said nothing, but watched, and gave no longer any heed to the defence."

The first meeting of Faramir and
owyn (2000)

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"The Lord Faramir was walking alone in the garden of the Houses of Healing, and the sunlight warmed him, and he felt life run new in his veins; but his heart was heavy, and he looked out over the walls eastward. And coming, the Warden spoke his name, and he turned and saw the Lady
owyn of Rohan; and he was moved with pity, for he saw that she was hurt, and his clear sight perceived her sorrow and unrest."

"He looked at her ..." (2004)

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"He looked at her, and being a man whom pity deeply stirred, it seemed to him that her loveliness amid her grief would pierce his heart. And she looked at him and saw the grave tenderness in his eyes, and yet knew, for she was bred among men of war, that here was on whom no Rider of the Mark would outmatch in battle."

In the Houses of Healing (2002)

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And so they stood on the walls ..." (2004)

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Then the heart of
owyn changed ... (2000)

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"'Once I pitied your sorrow. But now, were you sorrowless, without fear or any lack, were you the blissful Queen of Gondor, still I would love you.
owyn, do you not love me?' Then the heart of owyn changed, or else at last she understood it. And suddenly her winter passed, and the sun shone on her."

Faramir and
owyn (2002)

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"'Then I must leave my own people, man of Gondor?' she said. 'And would you have your proud folk say of you: "There goes a lord who tamed a wild shieldmaiden of the North! Was there no woman of the race of N
ķmenor to choose?"' 'I would,' said Faramir. And he took her in his arms and kissed her under the sunlit sky, and he cared not that they stood high upon the walls in the sight of many."

Reading this description, my first reaction would have been to picture Faramir and Eowyn high upon the walls, as if I were looking up at them from the point of view of the "many." Eissmann, however, puts us in a more private position, I think, up close and personal.

Coronation (2004)

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"Then the guards stepped forward, and Faramir opened the casket, and he held up an ancient crown. It was shaped like the helms of the Guards of the Citadel, save that it was loftier, and it was all white, and the wings at either side were wrought of pearl and silver in the likeness of the wings of a sea-bird, for it was the emblem of kings who came over the Sea."

What do you think Faramir is supposed to be feeling at this moment? What does the picture suggest he is feeling?

In all of these pictures, I think that Eissmann has selected moments that are complex emotionally. The complicated family tensions in the Denethor scenes, the equally complex emotional shifts in the Eowyn scenes (how would you paint winter passing and sun shining?) must be challenging moments to try to capture.
Perhaps the attraction behind the following picture is not so complex:

Shirtless (2006)

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Eissmann's comment: "inspired by a documentary about Michelangelo Buonarotti and a number of requests for a shirtless Faramir ..."

Next post: Fanfiction and other work

All images are copyrighted by Anke-Katrin Eissmann and are used with her permission for the purposes of this discussion. More images and information about her work are available on her website :


Apr 14 2007, 9:45pm

Post #2 of 12 (432 views)
I do like "Last Counsel." [In reply to] Can't Post

Faramir's face has color and some expression appropriate to the moment; he looks alive, not dead, near death, or sleeping. His face still seems rather hard, as if carved out of rock, and the lips are held tight together as usual, but the color and slightly furrowed brow at least gives it some life. And I like the cut above his eye and the blood on his cheek reminding the viewer that he just returned from battle.

Eissman actually gives Faramir's case some color in a number of these pictures, which seems unusual for her based on what you have shown us this week. Even in the black and white photo of him shirtless, there's a good deal of shading in his face. Of course his lips are always tightly shut and, except for the portrait in "Last Counsel, none of them have much expression.

Eowyn's face has less color, perhaps because of her coloring, although Faramir was supposed to be fair skinned too. But none of her portraits betray as much emotion as Faramir's in "Last Counsel." Also her face seems a little different each time, whereas Faromr remains consistent.

Note that Boromir has been given a beard, although Faramir and Aragorn have not. Is this a subtle way of suggesting that Numenorean blood runs true in Aragorn and Faramir but not in Boromir?

(This post was edited by Curious on Apr 14 2007, 9:46pm)

The Shire

Apr 15 2007, 4:13pm

Post #3 of 12 (429 views)
musing on mouths [In reply to] Can't Post

At the risk of making generalizations that I will regret later, I would venture that facial expression is to some extent culturally determined, or at least heavily influenced. And that furthermore, the German mouth tends to be tighter and less smiley than the American one. (No offense to the rest of the planet; those are just the only two cultures I know anything about.) When my husband was in Niger some locals told him they could always tell the Germans from the other tourists by their pressed-together lips.

It is perhaps a stretch to apply this to Eissmannís paintings, or to speculate that after 13 years here I have grown used to the serious (ernst) expressions, but these faces are appealing to me (well, not Eowynís), and most donít strike me as expressionless. Faramir and Boromir in After the Dream look genuinely troubled, disturbed. Most of the soldiers in Last of all he came look defeated and oppressed. And Coronation: wow. I always took Faramir at his word, that he welcomed the king joyfully and unreservedly. But wait, is that ambivalence? No, itís regret! An interesting take on another unusual moment.

This is in no way meant to suggest that Eissmann, because sheís German, can only draw Germans or some such! Especially since, after looking over her web site a bit, I notice that she has travelled extensively, lived abroad, and has a nice smile. But perhaps this might offer a different perspective on these tight-lipped faces. Besides that, she is illustrating serious scenes. Except Bombadil, and his eyes are smiling.

and he found more contentment in those days than in any others of his life, though he did not know it until he looked back long after when old age was upon him. -Tale of Aldarion and Erendis


Apr 15 2007, 5:01pm

Post #4 of 12 (423 views)
Another Faramir study in color and light [In reply to] Can't Post

Here's a study of Faramir's face that Eissmann has done in oil pastels, different from her usual watercolors. I think this face has more color than the usual pale faces she paints. It's odd, come to think of it, that the face of Faramir in "Last Counsel," which also seems to be heading into shadows, also has more of the color some of us might expect in paintings of faces.

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I do like "Last Counsel" as well. I like the way that you can trace Faramir's path back to a dark archway -- the chamber where he left Denethor, I'm presuming. Along the way, he's talked to Gandalf, who looks after Faramir with concern. The figures in the background who are rushing in the opposite direction suggest urgency and emphasize the fact that Faramir is walking by himself in the opposite direction -- he is very much alone. Two others seem to be talking in the background -- again, suggesting to me that things are happening, people are talking, the city is abuzz with news and developments -- but there's this private drama unfolding among Faramir and Gandalf and Denethor.

Forum Admin / Moderator

Apr 16 2007, 2:24am

Post #5 of 12 (421 views)
"Father and Son" is well-portrayed. [In reply to] Can't Post

I like the Gandalf's-eye view as we watch the confrontation, and sense the tension between the lord on his carven chair and his son, still bearing the scars of battle. I also very much like the way she's portrayed Pippin as an older youth.

"And when Sam heard that he laughed aloud for shear delight, and he stood up and cried: 'O great glory and splendour! And all my wishes have come true!'"

Aunt Dora Baggins

Apr 16 2007, 3:03am

Post #6 of 12 (417 views)
I have mixed reactions. [In reply to] Can't Post

This one is lovely:

but they still look like zombies in this one:


"For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large wastebasket. Dora was Drogo's sister, and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century."
Chance Meeting at Rivendell: a Tolkien Fanfic
and some other stuff I wrote...
leleni at hotmail dot com


Forum Admin / Moderator

Apr 16 2007, 4:54am

Post #7 of 12 (409 views)
Faramir fangirl 'fesses [In reply to] Can't Post

I've really enjoyed all the Eissmann illustrations you've shown us, but (perhaps because I am so much in love with Faramir) these have been the ones I've liked least.

I like the strength in Faramir's face, but I miss the tenderness and vulnerability, and the yearning to be loved that my imagination puts there.

Though Faramir clad only in his drawers was rather pleasing :-)

Promises to Keep: a novel set in 19th Century New Zealand.

The Passing of Mistress Rose

Do we find happiness so often that we should turn it off the box when it happens to sit there?

- A Room With a View

Daughter of Nienna
Grey Havens

Apr 16 2007, 9:39am

Post #8 of 12 (399 views)
Loss & regret [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
And Coronation: wow. I always took Faramir at his word, that he welcomed the king joyfully and unreservedly. But wait, is that ambivalence? No, itís regret! An interesting take on another unusual moment.

This image struck me in the same way. Then I thought about it some more. Knowing that it is possible to have different reactions & different feeling going on simultaneously, I believe that he is "welcoming the king joyfully and unreservedly".

At the same time, because of all that Faramir has gone through, and all the loss that he has suffered, that he is also feeling grief. He has lost his brother that he loved dearly. He lost he father tragically, and nearly lost his own ilife at his father's hands. Kids never stop loving their parents, no matter how awful the parents are or how badly they are treated by them.

It is possible that, besides the grief due to loss, he feels 'regret' that his father and brother could not be here and if they were could not or would not rejoice too. But, in my heart, I cannot believe that he feels 'regret' over losing a kingdom that he never really believed was his to have or keep.

. . .

Art Gallery Revised, Aloha & Mahalo, Websites Directory

Nienna: ď those who hearken to her learn pity, and endurance in hope . . . All those who wait in Mandos cry to her, for she brings strength to the spirit and turns sorrow to wisdom." ó Valaquenta

mae govannen
Tol Eressea

Apr 16 2007, 3:56pm

Post #9 of 12 (397 views)
Yes indeed; but his brother [In reply to] Can't Post

would have actually rejoiced too, having come to respect, admire and love Aragorn, and having himself asked Aragorn to go to Minas Tirith and save his people.
Would Faramir have had any way to come to know that?... Would he have ever talked with Aragorn in order to find out what had been the last moments of his beloved brother?...
Most probably, he just misses him badly (and perhaps his father too indeed, in spite of all), in this so special moment.
His expression reminds me of that of Aragorn at Edoras when the Rohirrim honor the 'victorious dead' and Aragorn pauses however briefly, with a serious look on his face, before emptying his goblet - having perhaps had a special thought for his dear friend Haldir...
I do like Faramir's face here.

'Is everything sad going to come untrue?'
(Sam, 'The Field of Cormallen', in 'The Return of the King'.)


Apr 16 2007, 4:57pm

Post #10 of 12 (386 views)
See my comments on "Family Portrait" in the thread above./ [In reply to] Can't Post



Apr 16 2007, 5:04pm

Post #11 of 12 (395 views)
re: [In reply to] Can't Post

>>would have actually rejoiced too, having come to respect, admire and love Aragorn, and having himself asked Aragorn to go to Minas Tirith and save his people.

Do you mean Boromir when you say he had "come to respect, admire and love Aragorn"? If so, I could not disagree more! Yes, he asked Aragorn to go to Minas Tirith and save his people--but not "our" people. I don't think Boromir ever accepted Aragorn for who he was. Maybe in the movie where he called him his "captain" and "king", but frankly, that doesn't count. It was not so in the novel at all.

If you mean Faramir, then...never mind!


Apr 16 2007, 6:11pm

Post #12 of 12 (440 views)
What about what *is* in the novel? [In reply to] Can't Post

Boromir's last words are: "'Farewell, Aragorn! Go to Minas Tirith and save my people! I have failed.'" Tolkien maintains ambiguity, as usual, but surely that could be interpreted as acceptance, admiration, and even love, even if you have the right not to interpret it in that manner. As usual, the movie was less ambiguous than the book.


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