Who is Cor Blok?
Dutch visual artist, teacher, art critic, art historian, museum curator, emeritus professor University of Leiden. Born The Hague 1934, currently living at Amsterdam. Cor Blok is the author of books on Piet Mondrian, the history of abstract art, and the interpretation of images.

Why these paintings?
Coming upon The Lord of the Rings soon after it was first published, Cor Blok saw a unique opportunity to satisfy a long-standing interest in exploring the power of images to tell stories. JRR Tolkien’s trilogy offered a vast and vivid spectacle of landscapes, of all sorts of living beings engaged in an eternal struggle between Light and Darkness, of heroism and base treachery, fantasy and common sense.

As a sequence of events set in a pocket of space and time of its own, as it were, removed from the present and the world as we know it, yet full of situations and characters with which we can identify, The Lord of the Rings invited the creation of a pictorial idiom that respects this relative otherworldliness. Middle-earth has passed away, and my pictures are not to be viewed as an attempt at archaeological reconstruction.

When?
Painted between 1958 and 1962, Cor Blok’s pictures based on The Lord of the Rings were among the earliest attempts at visualizing the story.
With an introduction from his publishers, George Allen & Unwin, Cor Blok visited JRR Tolkien in Oxford in 1961. Subsequently, Tolkien purchased two of the pictures, to which the artist added a third one as a present.

Legacy
A selection of the paintings was exhibited in the Netherlands in 1962/63 and three of them appeared on the covers of the paperback edition of the Dutch translation of The Lord of the Rings in 1965. They were only ‘rediscovered’ in 1992, when about 20 were included in the Tolkien Centenary Exhibition in The Hague. The complete sequence was reproduced in A Tolkien Tapestry: pictures to accompany The Lord of the Rings edited by Pieter Collier (HarperCollins Publishers, 2011), with a substantial introduction by the artist.

Reproductions of Cor Blok’s paintings
Full size, full colour reproductions on special paper, framed and signed by the artist will be available from September/October, 2012. These can be pre-ordered as from now.

Contact Information
CORBLOK.COM
Webmaster: Pieter Collier, Achiel Cleynhenslaan 30, 3140 Keerbergen, Belgium – +0032 (0) 495908283 – info@corblok.com (mail to get in touch with Cor Blok, all enquiries will be forwarded)

9 Comments

  1. Hans Janssen
    January 12, 2018

    Beste Cor,
    hoop met jou alles goed. Het schiet mij vaak door het hoofd de laatste tijd dat ik een keer met je van gedachten wil wisselen over jouw rol in de overdracht/verscheping/eerste catalogisering van de Slijper-collectie tussen Blaricum en Den Haag. Jij was daar bij betrokken meen ik, toch? Zou het een idee zijn dat je me daar eens over vertelt? Het zou niet alleen nuttig zijn maar wellicht ook een (ander?) licht kunnen werpen op de bewaaromstandigheden in Blaricum. Ik kreeg daar de laatste jaren verschillende en hier en daar tegenstrijdige verhalen over, van buurtbewoners en van buren.
    Groet,

    Reply
  2. Juanma
    May 16, 2018

    Is there any possibility of sending a book for Cor to return to me signed?

    Thank you very much.

    A hug.

    Reply
  3. Alex DiTullio
    June 25, 2018

    I have a print from Mr. Blok that I would like to get some information about name ,age,where it originated from I can be reached at above email Thank you

    Reply
  4. Boudewijn Gelaudie
    August 19, 2018

    Geachte heer Blok,

    Als groot liefhebber van Tolkien zou ik graag in het bezit komen van uw tekeningen die ooit zijn gebruikt als cover voor de drie delen van In de ban van de Ring, eertijds door uitgeverij Het Spectrum op de markt gebracht. Het was mijn eerste gekochte versie van de trilogie en de tekeningen staan sindsdien in een dierbaar gedeelte van mijn herinneringen opgeslagen.
    Kunt u mij laten weten of en zo ja hoe ik ze kan bestellen?

    Hartelijke groet,

    Boudewijn Gelaudie
    Amsterdam

    Reply
  5. Adam Cooper
    October 20, 2018

    Any possibility of reproductions of “ The game of riddles“ which features Bilbo and Gollum?

    Highest regards,

    Adam Cooper

    Reply
  6. wim salki
    February 19, 2019

    Dag Cor, het fijn je te zien op TV na al deze jaren sinds de Jan van Eyck Academie. Ik hoop dat alles goed is mischien ooit ergens op de aardkloot. Groeten Wim Salki

    Reply
  7. Edward koch
    November 21, 2019

    Greetings,
    My name is Edward Koch from SC, usa. my wife have been on the lookout for some artworks lately viewing your website on my laptop and i guess she likes your piece of work, I’m also impressed and amazed to have seen your various works too, : ) You are doing a great job. I would like to receive further information about your piece of work and what inspires you. I would greatly appreciate if you could possibly recommend a few completed original piece. Kindly confirm the availability for immediate sales.

    Thanks , Edward.

    Reply
  8. Tim Scholz
    January 3, 2020

    Hello good day Mr. Blok!

    I’ve started to set up a list with all Tolkien-Artists. And I would like to ask you, if I can display you picutres on my site. I allready have some portrait of you, from a picture I took some years ago. And I to your site.

    I would be very happy if I could show your pictures next to those of John Howe and Ted Nasmith.

    With my best regards
    Tim Scholz

    Reply
  9. Gianfranco Bux
    March 4, 2020

    I’ve fallen in love for these paintings.
    I wish Cor could do some for my own role playing game

    Reply

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