While most people might remember J.R.R. Tolkien as the genius creator of the Middle Earth and The Lord of the Rings series, not many know that he was also a gifted illustrator. The covers for his books were designed by him, along with sketches of scenes and detailed maps of the fictional world that he used as setting for his famous novels. Now, according to a report, fans will have the chance to admire this other side of his talent, thanks to a major exhibition at Oxford’s Bodleian libraries. Apart from some incredible illustrations, the exhibition will also unveil three works that have never been seen before by anyone.
The exhibition called Tolkien: Maker of Middle Earth will open this summer and it features a large collection of maps, letters, manuscripts and artworks that belonged to the legendary writer. The library will also release a catalogue which will include over 300 images of Tolkien’s art and which will be available in the United States in July. The official website of the exhibition reads that through this event, the library hopes to remind people once again what a mind Tolkien was and to reveal more about his incredible legacy as a writer, illustrator, linguist, and poet.
Tolkien: Maker of Middle Earth
In the artworks, fans will be able to see Tolkien’s brilliant fantastical creatures drawn in vibrant colors. These materials also include scenes starring Bilbo Baggins, the elves, the dragon Smaug and the Elvish city of Kôr. Tolkien illustrated the city specially to serve as inspiration for his book The Silmarillion.
The three never-before-seen works are of a different nature, however. One features a drawing of bamboo from the 1960s. Another one displays a geometric design with Elvish lettering, even if the works did not have anything to do with his books. This proves how passionate Tolkien was about the world and languages he created.
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