Obsession of the Week Returns: The Hildebrandt Brothers

With the release of The Hobbit movie–which is wonderful, by the way–I have been revisiting the various incarnations of my Tolkien obsession.  Since I noticed in the movie that Thorin Oakenshield is far more handsome than I had previously invisioned, I looked back to the pictures that had influenced my image of him.  Thus I stumbled again upon my favorite illustrators/artists, the Hildebrandt Brothers.

When I first discovered Tolkien back in 1977,  I was thrilled to find a calendar drawn by Greg and Tim Hildebrandt with beautifully imagined drawings of my favorite scenes:

tolkien calendar 1977


Gandalf visits Bilbo.

Imagine how excited I was to find they had also done my favorite Star Wars poster that hung in my dorm room in college:

Hildebrandt Star Wars

This $3 version I had has been long lost (30 years ago, for goodness sakes!), but my son gave me the 25th anniversary version signed by the artists that now hangs in my “office.”

Anyway, to have an idea of how I pictured Thorin Oakenshield, and all the dwarves for that matter, have a look at this:

unexpected party

The Unexpected Party

Not too far off, but still no young, handsome dwarves, comic relief or not.  Truthfully, I don’t mind the change.

The Hildebrandt brothers are remarkable artists, and when you look at their website you will see that they have done many, many illustrations, some of which you will recognize, particularly if you are a lover of Fantasy and Science Fiction like myself.  Unfortunately, Tim died some years ago, but his twin brother, Greg, continues to produce his own work and represent the talent of a number of other artists who share their vision.  I encourage you to visit their website, Spiderwebart Gallery


One final peek–their vision of Gollum:


Disclaimer: All images belong to the Hildebrandts and Spiderwebart.  I use them merely to share with others my love of  and appreciation for their talent.

4 thoughts on “Obsession of the Week Returns: The Hildebrandt Brothers

  1. I had one of Hildebrandt brother’s Lord of the Rings calendar. I think it was 1978. (I wonder what happened to it?) I loved it. Then the calendars switched to stills of that awful LOTR cartoon movie.
    If I remember correctly from the hours of “making of” segments in
    the directors cuts of the LOTR movies, they used Hildebrandts’ images to create sets and costumes for the movies. I can’t remember if the brothers were actually involved with the movies.

  2. I think you are right about them using some to there pictures as inspiration, though I hadn’t thought of it for years. I do wish there had been a place for Tom Bombadil and Goldberry in the movies, but I understand why there wasn’t. I really like the Hildebrandt brothers’ picture of Goldberry.

      • Mike, I hope you get this. Sorry I have been away so long–real life and all that getting in the way as it does. Anyway, the Star Wars poster is available on the Hildebrandt Brothers’ web site, Spiderwebart Gallery. I have the link posted in my sidebar. There is so much there to love…please let me know if you visit and what you think.

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