Rivendell. By Alan Lee

The imagery created by English book illustrator and movie conceptual designer, Alan Lee has entered the imagination of several generations, across the nations. I remember reading Faeries, illustrated by him and Brian Froud, when I was still a young thing, back in Italy.

Alan Lee was born in Middlesex, England, and studied at the Ealing School of Art. A soft-spoken, private person, Alan Lee illustrated countless fantasy books and many book covers.

Then of course, came Jackson’s Lord of the Ring, and Alan Lee’s fame thoroughly took off worldwide. Together with John Howe, they brought to life a superb rendition of Middle-earth and its inhabitants, creating some of the most iconic landscapes in literature.

The Hobbit was next, and Alan Lee was recruited along with John Howe, by Guillermo Del Toro for continuity of design. The rest, as they say, is history.

Lee, Grant Major and Dan Hennah earned the 2004 Academy Award for Best Art Direction for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, third in the film trilogy.

Alan Lee.

This year Alan will be the guest of honour at the AGM of the Tolkien Society, which will be held in York, to the delight of all its members.

Alan Lee joins a long line of distinguished guests of honour, including Priscilla Tolkien, Humphrey Carpenter, and Tom Shippey.

Grey Havens. By Alan Lee