We talk a lot about Tolkien at Dappled Things, and with good reason. But if you haven’t seen these illustrations of The Lord of the Rings by Ukrainian artist Sergei Iukhimov, do treat yourself by clicking through to revel in their pure medieval goodness.
They are not exactly, as one of the hosting sites claims, like something out of a 13th-century text. Instead, imagine a cross between the art of Michael O’Brien and Daniel Mitsui, with a splash of surrealism.
Many visual interpretations of Tolkien have the misfortune of being a bit too on-the-nose and literal, if not swept totally into a World-of-Warcraft-esque melodrama (the recent Peter Jackson films knock at the door of the latter at certain points, though they have moments of great beauty and fidelity as well), or bland Kinkade-style escapism. By contrast, these illustrations stick close to the spirit of Tolkien’s own hand drawings (see here): whimsical, atmospheric, borrowing heavily from iconography, heraldry, and the manuscript tradition. You’re welcome!