Alan Lee

Alan Lee

Alan Lee is an English book illustrator and movie conceptual designer. He was born on 20 August 1947 in Middlesex, England and studied at the Ealing School of Art, specialising in illustration, and has illustrated a wide range of books, including Faeries (with Brian Froud), The Mabinogion, Castles, Merlin Dreams, The Black Ships of Troy and The Wanderings of Oysseus.

He is best known for his award winning work on The Lord of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien - having done illustration work for both the books and the Peter Jackson directed movies. As of 2011, he is working on The Hobbit movies, based on Tolkien's book, again directed by Peter Jackson.

Tolkien's work has inspired him ever since he read his books at an early age. Alan Lee is also inspired by nature, myth, legends and Folklore.

Alan Lee draws a lot of inspiration from nature around in which he lives - he lives and works on the edge of Dartmoor, in Devon, England.

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His artistic influences include:
"I've been strongly influenced, in technique as well as subject matter, by some of the early 20th-century book illustrators — Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac in particular, Burne-Jones and other Pre-Raphaelites, and the Arts-&-Crafts movement they engendered. I'm continually inspired by Rembrandt, Breughel (I've wondered whether his brilliant "Tower of Babel" had inspired Tolkien's description of Minas Tyrith), Hieronymous Bosch, Albrecht Durer, and Turner; it's not necessarily that they influence my work in any particular direction, more that their example raises my spirits, re-affirms my belief in the power of images to move and delight us, and shows me how much further I have to go, how much is possible. Having visited Venice and Florence for the first time, I am besotted with the Italian Renaissance artists — Botticelli, Bellini, da Vinci and others. Their work is calm, controlled, and yet each face and landscape contains such passion." - Alan Lee

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Books by Alan Lee