Numenorean design motifs

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caedmon
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Re: Numenorean design motifs

Postby caedmon » Thu Aug 20, 2020 11:39 pm

Elleth wrote:Oh.... I really like that second one especially.

The not-quite-Mediterranean art and Irish form *really* reminds me of some of the old "Sea People" proto-Celt vibe I think The Professor was channeling in his later Numenorean writings.

Incredible!


Oh, you're right! It echoes the work in a lot of Minoan and Mycenaen pottery. I've been looking for Egyptian analogues, but that's closer.

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Re: Numenorean design motifs

Postby Udwin » Fri Aug 21, 2020 1:28 pm

This is an illustration of a Gondorian pitcher by Margrethe II of Denmark. Although it's a (I suppose) secondary source, I include it here because the queen was one of the few artists active during his lifetime whose work Tolkien actually liked; her style is somewhat similar to his own, and he liked it so much he gave his approval for her to illustrate the Danish edition of LotR. So we might consider this a somewhat-Tolkien-approved interpretation. It definitely puts me in an early-Mediterranean, (perhaps Cycladic?) style.
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Re: Numenorean design motifs

Postby Elleth » Fri Aug 21, 2020 1:38 pm

Hunh....

Wow.

The large urn looks spot on to some of flower drawings.

COOL!
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Re: Numenorean design motifs

Postby Udwin » Fri Aug 21, 2020 9:09 pm

A new nugget of Numenor I've dug up for y'all to make use of. Some stylized vegetative designs, an elvish-named plant 'Pilinehtar', and a Numenorean-style border. This is plate #45 in Pictures by JRR Tolkien.
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Re: Numenorean design motifs

Postby Iodo » Sat Aug 22, 2020 7:34 pm

Nice, thanks for finding that :P
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Re: Numenorean design motifs

Postby caedmon » Mon Aug 24, 2020 7:34 pm

Udwin wrote:A new nugget of Numenor I've dug up for y'all to make use of. Some stylized vegetative designs, an elvish-named plant 'Pilinehtar', and a Numenorean-style border. This is plate #45 in Pictures by JRR Tolkien.



I’ve seen these illustrations before. But had no indication they were Numenorean. How do we know they are Numenorean? Is it noted in the text? Also I assume that the pilinehtar is the grass above the label; or the flowering shrub or the vining plant?

Definitely fills in some gaps. Gives more examples of Numenorean interlace and adds a more naturalistic take than the last set. Also shows that Numenorean interlace is more akin to art nouveau interlace than to Celtic or migration era knotwork.


What I’d really like to see: Tolkien sketch of animal interlace as described in “The Lost Road”.
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Re: Numenorean design motifs

Postby Cimrandir » Tue Aug 25, 2020 3:08 am

Very interesting to see the similarities between historical artistic styles and the Professor's own sketches. I haven't seen plate #45 before and I'm rather taken by the more naturalistic and "wild" style and by that border at the bottom. It reminds me of Elleth's border earlier in this thread. I'll echo caedmon by asking if that plate is confirmed Númenórean?

Which leads me to wonder how it would have developed through the years until the end of the 3rd Age. As has been pointed out in this thread, typically art styles do not stay very static for long. Pure conjecture as to the evolution of their art is probably the only recourse at this point but the pictures you posted Udwin do seem more Dunedain to me. (For lack of a better term.)
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Re: Numenorean design motifs

Postby Udwin » Tue Aug 25, 2020 3:52 pm

caedmon wrote:I’ve seen these illustrations before. But had no indication they were Numenorean. How do we know they are Numenorean? Is it noted in the text? Also I assume that the pilinehtar is the grass above the label; or the flowering shrub or the vining plant?
Definitely fills in some gaps. Gives more examples of Numenorean interlace and adds a more naturalistic take than the last set. Also shows that Numenorean interlace is more akin to art nouveau interlace than to Celtic or migration era knotwork. What I’d really like to see: Tolkien sketch of animal interlace as described in “The Lost Road”.


Sorry, I misspoke, no indication that they're Numenorean. In the plates they're just listed as 'Floral Designs'. The pilenehtar IS the rush or reedy grass in black. At this point his work is so recognizable for me it's hard to differentiate between what's just doodling and what's a cultural artifact.
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