Pieter Collier from the Tolkienlibrary.com writes: Exactly 50 years ago the artist Cor Blok created about 140 illustrations to accompany The Lord of the Rings, he visited Tolkien who liked his art and bought 3 pieces – the only artist who ever sold his art to Tolkien. In his letters Tolkien once said that if ever an illustrated The Lord of the Rings could be created it would have been Cor Blok who would receive the job. No such thing ever happened. However Cor Blok’s art was featured on the Dutch translation of The Lord of the Rings for 27 years, without even mentioning the name Cor Blok. Some five years ago I talked to Cor Blok and embarked on a mission to track down his art, since many were sold and lost. They were all over the world, no one knew how much there were and how they looked like.
Still I kept to my mission and managed to trace them back (except a few which are lost forever) and managed to scan all of them and in my passion managed to convince both the artist Cor Blok, the Tolkien publisher HarperCollins and the Tolkien family to get a book out to show all the illustrations. It was a fun project that did cost me all of my free time, but I enjoyed every single minute of it. This week, the first of September, this project will see the light and will be released by HarperCollins. It has received the title: A Tolkien Tapestry: Pictures to accompany The Lord of the Rings. The name comes from the general idea of Cor Blok to create a tapestry (just like the famous Bayeux Tapestry) and not just to illustrate the book.
The approximately 100 full-colour paintings in this new book are presented in story order so that the reader can enjoy them as the artist intended. If one looks at the art works one by one you can easily tell the complete tale of The Lord of the Rings. So all the paintings are accompanied by extracts from The Lord of the Rings and the artist also provides an extensive introduction illuminating the creation of the series and notes to accompany some of the major compositions.
Many of the paintings appear here for the very first time. Readers will find Cor Blok’s work refreshing, provocative, charming and wholly memorable – the bold and expressive style that he created stands as a unique achievement in the history of fantasy illustration. Rarely has an artist captured the essence of a writer’s work in such singular fashion; the author himself agreed, and what higher accolade is there?
Here is a link to the book http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/press/991-A_Tolkien_Tapestry.php
There will be released a hardback and a signed limited deluxe edition (signed by Cor Blok and myself)… What an excitement and an honor!