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Old 03-26-2012, 09:10 AM   #10
Legate of Amon Lanc
A Voice That Gainsayeth
 
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Legate of Amon Lanc is wading through the Dead Marshes.Legate of Amon Lanc is wading through the Dead Marshes.Legate of Amon Lanc is wading through the Dead Marshes.Legate of Amon Lanc is wading through the Dead Marshes.Legate of Amon Lanc is wading through the Dead Marshes.Legate of Amon Lanc is wading through the Dead Marshes.
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Originally Posted by Formendacil View Post
Even if oil painting on canvas would have been a bit anachronistic in a pre-Renaissance setting, that doesn't mean that visual flat images would have been out of place, as has been noted. Tolkien's comparison of Gondor to the Byzantine Empire makes me think immediately of mosaics. For that matter, Tolkien's comparison of the Númenor to ancient Egypt also makes me think of the rather famous Egyptian 2-dimensional art. Obviously, this doesn't imply an artistic connection, but it certainly removes any charges of anachronism.
Certainly. Mosaics make me think especially of Elves, Dwarves and all the "high" cultures. But even when it comes to painting, you don't really need oil and canvas for that, certainly - what about frescoes? That is absolutely normal, 100% medieval-European, and would fit nicely. Yet we don't hear much of that either.

I think, given the general concept of Middle-Earth as the place where beautiful things are in the beginning and then things get only older, ruined, destroyed and/or uglier (or not as pretty as they were in the beginning, anyway), painting does not really fit this scheme very well. Painting fades with time, but it is not meant to last very long in the first place. Statues, in the ideal way, would last millenia. Painting won't last very long. So painting, if I generalise it, could at most be only rather "low-rank", not very "reliable" form of art. Maybe made for the moment, but not to endure. That would explain why the narration or the characters do not pay it very much attention, if any.
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"But it is not your own Shire," said Gildor. "Others dwelt here before hobbits were; and others will dwell here again when hobbits are no more. The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot for ever fence it out."
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