Hey all, MrCere here. We have a friend in Italy who has been great at promoting some J.R.R. Tolkien related stuff and has been also providing TheOneRing content and ways to reach readers and Tolkienites in Europe.

Gabriele Marconi sent in the following info, I think, with the idea that I could shape a post for TORn from it. Instead, I love his energy and style so and am presenting the info as he provided. It is long compared to many posts, but there is a lot of useful info. And, if this doesn’t want to make you go to Milan, you might not be a Tolkien fan. This is an astounding collection of art with all the names you hope might be included. Anyway, go read!:

Marconi said:

“The greatest Tolkien art exhibition ever opens in one day in Milan, Italy. (Note: It is now open) Thus far, the only way to see a comparable amount of original artworks inspired by the books of J.R.R. Tolkien was to visit the Greisinger Museum in Jenins, Switzerland. Therefore [it] is no surprise to discover that the curator is no other than the museum’s Art Director, Davide Martini; nor that Italy got the privilege to host this historical moment.”



Comics, Illustration and Animated Picture Museum of Milan

Viale Campania 12 – Milan – www.museowow.it

Tickets: 5 € (reduced 3 €) – Tuesday to Friday, opening 15.00-19.00; Saturday and Sunday until

From 24th January to 22nd March, WOW Spazio Fumetto – Museo del Fumetto di Milano turns into

Middle-earth hosting the great art exhibition La Magia dell’Anello (The Magic of the Ring), curated by Riccardo Mazzoni, vice-director of WOW Spazio Fumetto, Ninni Dimichino, chairman of the Italian Tolkien Society and Davide Martini, expert in Tolkien Art, dedicated to the saga de The Lord of the Rings, starting from the involving figure of its author J.R.R. Tolkien up to the lucky movie adaptations by Peter Jackson.


Cor Blok artThe exhibition is characterized by an extraordinary – never seen before – corpus of original artworks, mostly published, composing its chronological development and so following the tale of J.R.R. Tolkien’s life and his books’. About a hundred artworks have been selected by the Art Director of Greisinger Museum, Davide Martini, coming from the museum itself, the only one dedicated to Middle-earth all over the world, from Dama Collection, actually the second collection of art inspired by Tolkien’s world, and by courtesy of various artists for a cultural offer devised in order to give the visitors the opportunity to encounter and come to know the history of the figurative genre based on the tales of J.R.R. Tolkien. 

After a foreword with copies of works of the English writer and accompanied with the illustrations taken from the first Hobbit translations, the show gets on to the first original piece displayed, Gandalf (relates his adventures) by the Dutch Cor Blok, dated 1960, the first artist ever to realize pictures envisioning Tolkien’s masterpiece. It continues with the original plates of Dewar Ferguson for The Hobbit adapted in the 1964 magazine Princess, up to fly across the ocean. (more text follows art!)

Directly from the pages of the first Tolkien Calendars, the originals by Tim Kirk and The Brothers Hildebrandt exhibited together with other artists such as Stephen Hickman, Doug Beekman, Peter Caras, all interpreters of an all-“American” Middle-earth, distinguished in strong contrasts and bright colors. These aspects we can find also in Ralph Bakshi’s seven cels employed in his animated The Lord of the Rings, as well as in the painting created for Rankin Bass TV production or in the work, although 20 years later, of Carol Emery Phenix.
Thanks to Roger Garland we’ll witness the return of Middle-earth illustration to the Old Country and his artworks are going to be exhibited along with Linda Garland’s ones (David Day, A Tolkien Bestiary) and of the Swedish Inger Edelfeldt’s, to tell this new distinctive period during the ‘80s, a decade that sees the key passage between the shown and a “must-live” image by means of the inventions of Chris Achilleos and Angus McBride.(more text follows art!)

Donato_sketchSo we moved to the six ink drawings by Philippe Munch, part of his work for the French illustrated edition of The Lord of the Rings, the first containing realistic illustrations, 3 years earlier the most-known edition curated by Alan Lee, presented here in show too with a 1984 drawing, an idea then presented again and enhanced in the realization of The Siege of Gondor. The history of The Lord of the Rings illustration is completed with a table of the 1974 Luis Bermejo’s comic and the exceptional presence of no less than 59 pictures realized in 1970 by Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, for the first time shown in Italy thanks to the care of Riccardo Mazzoni.
The first time as well for the three Piero Crida’s watercolors prepared for the Italian 1974 The Lord of the Rings covers (separated volumes edition), published by Rusconi, images to which Italian passionates are very attached. (more text follows art!)

Ted NasmithMany original artworks belong to the 90s, years of the final crack in US-UK duopoly and of the widest spread of the Tolkienian illustration all over the western world, especially thanks to the collectible cards game ICE Middle-earth CCG. We can admire artworks by Ted Nasmith, Rob Alexander, Tom Cross, Audrey Corman, Brian Snoddy, Stephen Walsh, Jeff Reitz, Omar Rayyan, Steve Otis, Allen Douglas, Romas Kukalis and including also two Italian artists, Stefano Baldo ed Angelo Montanini: Montanini, the most important Tolkien illustrator of the belpaese1, contributes with the entire company of his original 13 Dwarves, an assembly here proposed for the first time.

Other great successes of this decade are the adaption of The Hobbit into the comics version illustrated by David T. Wenzel, some of whose pictures are going to be in the exhibition, and of The illustrated Silmarillion by Ted Nasmith, represented by the masterpiece Ulmo appears before Tuor, coming from the Greisinger Museum. 

At the end of The Magic of the Rings’ artistic path is set a substantial collection of the most-know contemporary artists, including Donato Giancola, Jay Johnstone, Ruth Lacon, Jef Murray, Jacek Kopalski, Anke Eissmann, Andrzej Masianis, Tomasz Oracz and the Italian Maria Distefano, Ivan Cavini, Diego Iaconfcic, Fabio Leone, Emanuele Manfredi, Andrea Piparo, an art exhibition disclosing an unmissable occasion for any who want to approach the art of fantasy and above all the history of Middle-earth illustration. (more text follows art!)


After the press release Marconi provided some more commentary.

“Among the many things of The Magic of the Ring that have the power to astonish, the historical dimension arises (as it is perfectly and systematically explained in the exhibition itself): artists of very different periods are put side by side, illustrations of the same scene or portrays of the same character. For example, Riddles in the Dark and the first appearance of Gollum in Nasmith, Wenzel, Hildebrandt, or the different choices of envisioning the Nazgûl by Giancola and Johnston (or the living and totally invented one in Kukalis artwork for ICE). The scene of Ulmo appearing before Tuor is presented in a perfect artist proof by Roger Garland, then in the even more famous Nasmith original, but also in a digital painting by Fabio Leone: a journey across generations measuring themselves with a mystical and elemental encounter. Or Angelo Montanini’s The One Ring shown here for the first time and, in my opinion, destined to become one of the dominant picture in the collective imaginary of the forging of the Ring, compared with Isildur’s Bane by another (in addition to Leone) great young talent, Andrea Piparo, where is painted just the hand of Isildur picking up the Ring from Mordor’s ground.

“But The Magic of the Ring isn’t “just” even this magnificent figurative art exhibition! According to the subtitle, the path ends displaying the turning point of Peter Jackson’s cinematic adaptation, also through an interactive map of Middle-Earth connected with a screen that projects scenes related to that particular chosen place, WETA’s unique sculptures, dioramas, the amazing sartorial reproductions of the stage dresses made by Veerena Cosplay (where cosplay could be an euphemism, seen the quality) and more.

“Then the projections of the fanfilms Tolkien’s Road and the Italian Daries of the Third Age, the continuos Giochi Uniti game-sessions at the official stand, where it will be possible to play both the newest Hobbit Tales than the older ones, medieval fighting reenactments, inspired music concerts, and of course conferences on the most recent Italian and International Tolkien Studies.
You have time until the end of winter to come visit The Magic of the Ring!

Follows all the updates on Tolkien Italia : https://www.facebook.com/TolkienItalia, www.tolkienitalia.net
Are you a foreign group of 15, 20 or more, who want to come and visit the exhibition and Milan?
Ask for more information here: redazione@tolkienitalia.net
(Better if you write in ENG, also accepted DE, FR, POR)
Contacts and references of organizers and main contributors mentioned:
Spazio Wow, Comics Museum of Milan: http://www.museowow.it/ – info@museowow.it
Italian Tolkien Society: http://www.tolkien.it
DAMA Collection: http://damacollection.wix.com/damacollection
Greisinger Museum: http://www.greisinger.museum/en/index.html
Veerena Cosplay: https://www.facebook.com/veerenacosplay