with amazing fantastic characters, wrapped in magic and myth, Alan Lee becomes one of the best book illustrators of our time.
The artist was born on August 20, 1947, in Middlesex, England and studied at the Ealing School of Art.
Later he became a freelance illustrator and worked in the field of fantasy book publishing, advertising and film.
Among the books illustrated by Lee are several works by J.R.R. Tolkien with the Tolkien centenary edition of The Lord of the Rings (1992), a 1999 edition of The Hobbit that has been boxed with it, and Narn i Chîn Húrin: The Children of Húrin (2007)
With his beautiful paintings in watercolor, depicting adorning Greek myths, Arthurian legends, Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, and other magical tales, he won the prestigious Kate Greenaway Award and the deep respect of fellow artists and writers.
Other books he has illustrated include Faeries (with Brian Froud, a painter also drawn to myths and legends), Lavondyss by Robert Holdstock, The Mabinogion(one of the artist's finest accomplishments), Castles and Tolkien's Ring (both nonfiction by David Day), The Mirrorstone by Michael Palin, The Moon's Revenge by Joan Aiken, and Merlin Dreams by Peter Dickinson.
He has also illustrated two were Rosemary Sutcliff's versions of the Iliad and the Odyssey-namely, Black Ships Before Troy (Oxford, 1993) and The Wanderings of Odysseus (Frances Lincoln, 1995). Another was Adrian Mitchell's version of Ovid's Metamorphoses-namely, Shapeshifters (Frances Lincoln, 2009).
Before creating the Faeries, Alan and his family moved to Devon, a small village on the edge of Dartmoor - the perfect setting for an artist of Alan's temperament: the land of great and varied beauty, rich in history and lore, full of Bronze Age ruins, clapper bridges, and standing stones on the wind-swept hills.
The mossy woods, wild hedgerows, and mythic grandeur of the moor inspired the artist and using watercolor painting and pencil sketches, he creates fabulous landscapes.
Alan Lee an John Howe were the conceptual designers of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films. They were recruited then by director Guillermo del Toro in 2008 for continuity of design in the subsequent The Hobbit films.
Lee has also worked as a conceptual designer on the films Legend, Erik the Viking, King Kong and the television mini-series Merlin.
The art book Faeries, produced in collaboration with Brian Froud, was the basis of a 1981 animated feature of the same name.