A Tolkien Tapestry: Pictures to accompany The Lord of the Rings (08.03.11 by Pieter Collier) - Comments

This year the Tolkien Library website will exist 10 years. I had the idea to write one article a day to celebrate this. As you all noticed this all was working out fine and then suddenly I sort of dissapeared. This had much to do with a project that I was working on and that I can now proudly announce, A Tolkien Tapestry: Pictures to accompany The Lord of the Rings. This brand new full-colour art book reveals in sumptuous detail more than 100 paintings based on The Lord of the Rings by acclaimed Dutch artist, Cor Blok, many of which appear here for the first time. After the Tolkien Calendar 2011 and the next Tolkien Calendar we can now officialy say that 2011 is the year of Cor Blok! It is exactly 50 years since the creation of the Cor Blok paintings and this book, of which i am honored to be the editor, will for the first time present a complete overview of all Cor Blok's works.

Fifty years ago, shortly after The Lord of the Rings was first published, Cor Blok read the trilogy and was completely captivated by its invention and epic storytelling.

The breadth of imagination and powerful imagery inspired the young Dutch artist, and this spark of enthusiasm, coupled with his desire to create art that resembled a historical artefact in its own right, led to the creation of more than 100 paintings. Following an exhibition at the Hague in 1961, JRR Tolkien’s publisher, Rayner Unwin, sent him five pictures. Tolkien was so taken with them that he met and corresponded with the artist and even bought some paintings for himself.

Many of Cor Blok's paintings had been sold in the '90s and were sort of lost. After a meeting with Cor Blok in 2006 I embarked on a quest to find many of the missing paintings. Now it is finally possible to present the complete series and show them all together in one book. The series bears comparison with the Bayeux Tapestry, in which each tells an epic and complex story in deceptively simple style, but beneath this simplicity lies a compelling and powerful language of form that becomes more effective as the sequence of paintings unfolds.
A Tolkien Tapestry by Cor Blok


The approximately 100 full-colour paintings in this new book are presented in story order so that the reader can enjoy them as the artist intended. If one looks at the art works one by one you can easily tell the complete tale of The Lord of the Rings. So all the paintings are accompanied by extracts from The Lord of the Rings and the artist also provides an extensive introduction illuminating the creation of the series and notes to accompany some of the major compositions.

Many of the paintings appear here for the very first time. Readers will find Cor Blok's work refreshing, provocative, charming and wholly memorable – the bold and expressive style that he created stands as a unique achievement in the history of fantasy illustration. Rarely has an artist captured the essence of a writer's work in such singular fashion; the author himself agreed, and what higher accolade is there?


About Cor Blok


Cor Blok was born in The Hague in 1934, and attended the Academy of Fine Arts. After graduating in 1956, he worked at the Gemeentemuseum until 1965, where, among other roles, he compiled a catalogue of the museum’s large collection of works by Piet Mondrian. During this time he also painted about 140 pictures inspired by The Lord of the Rings, a selection of which was exhibited at The Hague. When a sample of his paintings was sent to JRR Tolkien this led to a correspondence and eventual meeting with the author, who bought two paintings and was presented with a third. Cor Blok lives in Amsterdam, where is currently at work on a graphic novel.

Here you can find once again the interview with Cor Blok.

Hardcover edition of A Tolkien Tapestry

Title: A Tolkien Tapestry: Pictures to accompany The Lord of the Rings
Illustrator & author:
Cor Blok
Editor:
Pieter Collier

Publisher:
HarperCollins

Publication Date:
September 1, 2011

Type:
hardcover, 160 pages
ISBN-10: 0007437986
ISBN-13: 978-0-00-743798-6


De luxe Slipcased edition of A Tolkien Tapestry

This deluxe slipcased edition is limited to 500 copies and is personally signed by the artist Cor Blok and the editor Pieter Collier (and proud of it!!). The editions are all 500 hand numbered...

This edition comes in a nice slipcase and if I'm correct it will sit nicely next to The Art of the Hobbit by Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull, both are nice hardcovers with a nice slipcase.

But the size is different; the Deluxe edition of A Tolkien Tapestry will measure 189x246mm and the Art of the Hobbit should be 255x255mm.

The slipcase that will display “The Battle of the Hornburg” in its full glory, which is the paiting that hung in J.R.R. Tolkien's hall and was the first thing visitors would have seen when entering his place. Now 50 yeard after being produced this art work will feature as the cover for this nice deluxe edition.
A Tolkien Tapestry Deluxe Edition by Cor Blok
Title: A Tolkien Tapestry: Pictures to accompany The Lord of the Rings
Illustrator & author:
Cor Blok
Editor:
Pieter Collier

Publisher:
HarperCollins

Publication Date:
September 29, 2011

Type:
hardcover, 160 pages
ISBN-10: 0007437986
ISBN-13: 978-0-00-743798-6

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