It is common knowledge that J.R.R. Tolkien had a deep-seated and lifelong love for trees. Some drawings of stylized forest scenes such as “The Forest of Lothlórien in Spring” might remind us of Egon Schiele's pastoral landscapes, while the Art Nouveau influence on “Bilbo comes to the Huts of the Raft-Elves” is quite undeniable. Perhaps less-well known is the variety of forms and styles that the author worked with to draw his favourite subject: creating as it were his own experimental laboratory of sylvan pictural art. Through an evident “Arts and Crafts” influence, calligraphic lines inspired by japanese engraving, and abstract silhouettes in a cubist style, these designs allowed Tolkien to pay a glowing tribute to that favored tree that stood majestically in Oxford's Botanical Garden, and that we glimpse behind each and every one of his woodland scenes.
A number of these illustrations, alongside many others, are presented in Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond's J.R.R. Tolkien, Artist & Illustrator, published by HarperCollinsPublishers. You may also be interested in their article written for our website presenting "Tolkien's Art".