J.R.R. Tolkien appears to have viewed his sub-creation as a world that others can and probably should add to.
Surely plenty of artists have tried their hand on themes from The Professor’s stories: Names such as Alan Lee, John Howe and Ted Nasmith come to mind. Today, we were introduced to another contemporary painter who appears to love Middle-Earth: Donato Giancola. Here is an example of his art:
One of the things I like particularly about Giancola’s work is that the characters from Tolkien’s books do not look like the actors that portray them in Peter Jackson’s movies. Precisely because they have all done a terrific job portraying all those wonderful Tolkien’ian characters, they have made it quite hard to sever one’s imagination from their faces and voices. Mr. Giancola does not seem to have this problem and I am very thankful for it. Look at this example of Gandalf and Frodo:
Now, I am no expert, so don’t take my word for anything concerning art, ask John Howe! Here’s what he says, quoted from Mr. Giancola’s website:
“There’s more to Donato Giancola’s art than just a pretty face. Underneath the incredibly meticulous surface of his paintings is concealed a love of perspective and form, an intimate understanding of the human body, a historian’s knowledge of costume and armour, an infallible sense of implicit narrative, visual storytelling and mythical history. It’s just that you’re so rapt gazing at all the mind-blowingly pretty bits that you tend to miss it. Look again. There’s a lot more to see.”
-John Howe, concept designer, artist, historian
One last example, this time not from Tolkien’s world but from the Magic: The Gathering game cards. It is titled ‘Amber Prison”: