Gandalf Rides to Minas Tirith


Gouache on illustration board

Limited edition prints are available

First appeared on a fine porcelain collector plate to mark the Golden Jubilee ofThe Lord of the Rings — Danbury Mint, 2005.

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1 Comment

  1. Hi Silver

    I see you’re paying attention–that is a compliment in itself. As an illustrator, I normally aim for the art to be accurate to Tolkien’s descriptions, but as with Balrogs and their [non-existent] wings, the popular image and the image Tolkien intended aren’t always a match. Sometimes in the interests of aesthetics, I ‘override’ strict Tolkien accuracy in a work–this is such a case. As a commission for The Danbury Mint, my job was to reflect my sense of expectations in the Danbury buyers, and despite that in my 2004 calendar I depict Minas Tirith as Tolkien intended, with its black outer wall, few artists have depicted it that way, including myself until I rediscovered it while doing research. The description Tolkien uses at times is “The White City”, yet its black outer wall seems at odds with the impression that suggests, and as with Peter Jackson’s film version (more grey than white), the black wall is mostly ignored partly for that reason.

    The centre-spread Minas Tirith scene I did for the 2004 calendar is the definitive version for me; forgive any other ones. Thanks for your critique.

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