Translated by: hannah

The Lord of the Rings, from imagination to image

Site Francois-Mitterand- North ambulatory – Free admission

To commemorate the theatrical release of the last film of the trilogy “The Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King” on December 17, the Bibliotheque Nationale de France (French National Libary) will display 120 drawings by John Howe and Alan Lee in the north ambulatory of the Site Francois-Mitterand.

Through their drawings, John Howe and Alan Lee have given birth to an imagery of its own to the modern saga “The Lord of the Rings” and their illustrations have embodied it as occurs rarely with a fictional text. The drawings are known to combine strong images and textual details, already colored by a fiction which encourages the likely ambition simply in the slightest details. This graphic transposition contitutes a nearly unique example in the history of illustration, of a successful combination between a text and its image.

The expostion traces the path of Frodo, the hobbit, of Aragorn, the descendant of Isildur, and of Gandalf, the Wizard. Conceived as a journey across “Middle-Earth”, the exposition display the very first portraits of a universe that can be frightening or marvelous- from the Elven Rivendell to the terrible Barad-Dur-, or still give, in drawings of a spectacular size (sometimes more than two meters) the first conceptualisations of scenes of the film. These building designs approach the genesis of a film which has found in them the base of its imagery and the model of its miniatures, decor, and 3-D images. Several filmed interviews, with the two artists, medieval experts and historians, permit one to comprehend what these drawings owe to the long history of fantasy iconography.

“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” marks the conclusion of the epic voyage of the trilogy “The Lord of the Rings”. Produced by New Line Cinema, distributed in France by Metropolitan, the Peter Jackson film tells the end of the grand and passionate adventure of these characters and reveals how courage, the gift of self and the determination of the most humble can change the world.