Book covers drawn by artist Jian Guo.
Part of a competition held by the publisher of the new Chinese text, the beautiful, monochromatic illustrations draw on many of the design elements of Tolkien’s original paintings for the trilogy’s covers, elaborating on the iconic ring and towers with intricate Asian lines and flourishes.
The artist, an architectural student, describes his style as “glass painting style,” which he uses for its “sense of religious magnificence.” Interestingly, before seeing Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings adaptation in 2002, he had never heard of the books. (Previous Chinese translations of the books feature rather unimaginative covers with images from Jackson’s movies.) The films converted him into an avid reader of Tolkien.