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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
JRRT Artist and Illustrator, Chapter 2 Visons, Myths and Legends Part IV


Mar 10 2007, 1:15am

Views: 207
JRRT Artist and Illustrator, Chapter 2 Visons, Myths and Legends Part IV Can't Post

Sorry for the delay. I was at the Predators hockey game last night. Smile

Book of Ishness Part II

“The lines at centre are like a directional arrow, pointing the viewer’s way along the central path. One is invited into the landscape, to walk between the trees and look up the hill to see what lies beyond. … it dawns that Tolkien has played a visual trick. The ‘forest is also a butterfly, the trees in the distance its antennae and the eyes." Well rendered optical illusion. Which do you like better, the forest or the butterfly?

“This strange amalgam of an elongated, tonsured head with blank eyes, shoes, circles, squares, exclamation and question marks, and two long-fingered hands, above the inscriptions “Sightless : Blind: Well-Wrapped Up…”

Do you think this Tolkien’s view of being an adult in general or was he illustrating a certain kind of adult?

Contrast with Undertenishness.

“Its elements are reduced to basic forms and are brightly painted by category: pink star, purple moon, indigo mountains, pink road, black mushroom-like trees. It is a strange work, like an other-worldly view of the Pyramids, and is has a puzzling rubbed inscription: ‘Alas! [?] in a dreadful mood.’”

Of course, we can’t see the colors since the picture is reprinted in black and white. And certainly looks very ordinary in black and white. The road seems to go on into the mountain. Tolkien used a road going out from somewhere or a door leading somewhere else frequently as we have seen.

This makes me think of two trees that are in my parents’ back yard. They are about a doorway’s width apart from each other. I imagined when I was younger that it was a doorway to another world, ala Lewis’s wardrobe. Do you or did you have a road or doorway that “took you someplace else”?

Eeriness, painted evidently a day or two earlier, ( than Beyond) suits a ‘dreadful mood’ better. Its setting is eerie indeed: tall, straight trees that line and shade the road appear to stretch out menacing arms towards a wizard-like figure with a staff, who seems to cast a circle of light upon the ground around him. To the left, through a gap in the trees, is a view of a distant hill. If Tolkien did not have a story in mind when he made this painting, it easily could be the basis for one. Who is the figure? Where is he going? And specially, why is there a cat-design (as it appears to be) on the back of his robe?”

So, who is the figure, where is going and why is there a cat on the back of his robe? Any story scenes come to mind? I see Gandalf in Mirkwood going to Dol Guldur, though we know Gandalf did not have a cat on his robe. Also of note, the JRRT monogram is seen near its final form.

End of the World
“…End of the World [36], in which a tiny stick-figure blithely (or bravely?) steps into the abyss. A pessimistic subject indeed. But, what glories lie beyond the world’s end: the Sun, the Moon, a star, all essential elements in Tolkien’s mythology and frequent motifs in his art, here in a restless sky drawn as if by Van Gogh.”

I was reminded by the scene in CS Lewis’s The Silver Chair when Jill and Eustace are “blown” to Cair Paravel. Is the figure going to drop into the abyss or go floating into the stars?

Subject User Time
JRRT Artist and Illustrator, Chapter 2 Visons, Myths and Legends Part IV Saelind Send a private message to Saelind Mar 10 2007, 1:15am
    "All places were alike to him" N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Mar 10 2007, 1:59am
    Land's End,and the Prince of Cats Kimi Send a private message to Kimi Mar 10 2007, 2:22am
    The Little Prince Finding Frodo Send a private message to Finding Frodo Mar 10 2007, 6:26am
        Here's your hat/elephant/boa picture Wynnie Send a private message to Wynnie Mar 11 2007, 3:41pm
            Hey, thanks!/ Finding Frodo Send a private message to Finding Frodo Mar 12 2007, 1:48am
    I've only just noticed Wynnie Send a private message to Wynnie Mar 11 2007, 4:35pm
        You step into the Road.... FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Mar 11 2007, 6:33pm
            Tolkien's recurring "road" theme a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Mar 11 2007, 7:43pm
        you can also add... Daughter of Nienna Send a private message to Daughter of Nienna Mar 11 2007, 8:13pm
    'Well-Wrapped Up' Daughter of Nienna Send a private message to Daughter of Nienna Mar 11 2007, 7:09pm
    On Eeriness and Beyond linkin-artelf Send a private message to linkin-artelf Mar 17 2007, 5:48pm
        "End of the World", not "Beyond" a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Mar 17 2007, 6:07pm


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