Thursday, October 20, 2016

Middle-Earth: Visions Of A Modern Myth - Donato Giancola

Middle-Earth: Visions Of A Modern Myth - Donato GiancolaMiddle-Earth: Visions Of A Modern Myth
Donato Giancola
Underwood Books
Copyright: 2010

The product description:
From the brush of Donato Giancola, one of the world's most recognized and lauded fantasy artists, comes a book filled with new illustrations that apply his legendary Renaissance craftsmanship to J. R. R. Tolkien's fantastic Middle-Earth. Dramatic lighting and deft draftsmanship reminiscent of master painters like Caravaggio, Rembrandt, and Vermeer explain Donato's popularity with millions of fans, as well as the numerous Hugo and Chesley Awards he has received. This long-awaited, moving, and beautiful voyage through Middle-Earth — a must-have for eager genre readers everywhere — offers a refreshingly new exploration of literature's most beloved fantasy realm. From Helm's Deep to Mount Doom, Donato takes readers on a colorful tour filled with warriors, wizards, dragons, and dwarfs. Throughout he exhibits his astonishing technical virtuosity with every scene he brings to life, while also demonstrating the delight and wonder familiar to all true devotees of Middle-Earth.
I've had this book since 2010/2011 and I hadn't read it yet? I don't know what I was thinking! Middle-Earth: Visions Of A Modern Myth didn't deserve to languish on my TBR pile anywhere near this long.

Alan Lee and John Howe have been two of my favorite Tolkien illustrators for the longest time. As of today, they've been joined by a third artist: Donato Giancola. His book of Tolkien artwork is spectacular! There are scenes from The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings, but also a scattering of pieces from the older myths that make up The Silmarillion.

Donato Giancola has an extensive gallery of his artwork on his website, and that's where I found these examples:
Interestingly, I found on going through his book that my favorite style of image are the pencil crayon and chalk illustrations on toned paper. They remind me of both the Degas sketches I've seen and also of an exhibit I once saw of Leonardo Da Vinci's sketches. Ever since then, I've been rather partial to that style of art.

Middle-Earth: Visions Of A Modern Myth is a very quick book to go through on a cover-to-cover read, however you can spend quite a bit more time admiring each of the gorgeous plates - or at least I can. I certainly found the book to be money well spent, and I'm going to be returning to it to admire the pictures over and over I'm sure.

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