Since my new Tolkien's Middle-earth community has officially been launched, I thought I'd celebrate by creating this list of artwork inspired by Tolkien's stories. The artists vary both in style and in aesthetic, but all of them are passionate about Tolkien's work and this is evident in their art. I hope you enjoy...
Together the Brothers Hildebrandt have created some very interesting and memorable works inspired by Tolkien's world, as well as other fantasy and science fiction art. Although some of their artwork falls into the category of "cartoony", I still feel that they are wonderful artists.
They began their work on creating illustrations for The Tolkien Calendar in the '70s, and over a period of time were asked to create special paintings for book covers, albums, posters, and other media. Despite the fact that they are sometimes overlooked for their contributions by elitist Tolkien fans, I felt that to not include them would have been a great insult.
This is one of the earlier paintings that Greg and Tim did. It was for The Hobbit, which was their first reading experience of Tolkien. The painting has a peaceful, idyllic quality to it that seems appropriate for the Shire.
One of my favorite parts of the book and one that has been the inspiration for many works of art. This is probably my favorite though just because I like the strong use of contrasting bright colors. Reminds me of early Walt Disney stuff!
Pracownik is an incredible artist, known for his illustrations of tarot cards and for his New Age and fantasy works, particularly those inspired by Tolkien. His art is usually elaborate and symbolically meaningful.
McBride was a talented artist, who had worked for many years illustrating history and military history books. His Tolkien art stands out from the rest in part because it allowed him to abandon the realism of his other works. However, his work mainly included fantasy images done for various Tolkien-inspired role-playing games and to my knowledge, he never got to do an illustrated edition of Tolkien's books, which is a shame.