During the early 1960’s, Cor Blok, the Dutch artist, painted a series of 140 illustrations for J.R.R Tolkien’s stories. He destroyed several of these on the basis that they ‘were lacking in pictorial quality’. In a very interesting interview for the Tolkien Book Shop, he explains that the paintings were an exercise in pictorial shorthand. Though he couldn’t resist some detailed digression, he aimed to depict the essence of the narrative in the most basic form possible.
I discovered Cor Blok on Louisiella’s kitchen wall, where there hangs a miniature Lord of the Rings calendar. I go and stare at it every Sunday, while she makes tea.