LOTR Iconographic Illustrations from Sergey Yuhimov

It’s that time of year when you wait for your spouse as s/he shops for diced tomatoes or umeboshi paste by hanging out at the illustrated calendar rack and flipping through the pictures. Sadly, unless you’re a cat lover, a goner for anything to do with covered bridges, or someone who still dreams of a trip to Tibet’s high steppe Buddhist monasteries, there’s very little of excitement for you to peruse.

This wasn’t always the case. Throughout the years of the Harry Potter book publications and movie releases, Hogwarts calendars could be found everywhere. Now they can be had online — check out the 2015 variety at Amazon.com — but they, along with illustrations from Tolkien and Lewis and Dickens collected works, are much harder to find, especially ones not just stills from movie adaptations.

Back when I was a lad and dinosaurs walked the marshes of northern New Jersey, though, every year featured at least one new calendar, usually several, which featured heroic works of art derived from J. R. R. Tolkien’s Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings. My favorites? The ones by the Brothers Hildebrand. Check out their 1978 set for Ballantine books at The Compleat Gyde to Tolkien Calendars. The pictures are a cross between Walt Disney and Norman Rockwell and I loved ’em all.

A friend recently sent me a link to the Russian illustrator Sergey Yuhimov’s work based on Tolkien’s magnum opus. I confess to being enthralled. The pictures on this post are all his work and there are many more (see them here, here, and here). The blend of Orthodox Christian iconographic scale and symmetry with western medieval elements adapted from the Bayeaux tapestry and illuminated manuscripts is such an apt choice for representing the otherworldly qualities of Rings.

If you know anyone out there who makes calendars for a living, please urge them to pursue the rights to Yuhimov’s Middle Earth works. Happy New Year to you all!


  1. Wow! Those are really interesting. Thanks!

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