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Museum-Quality Matte Paper Print available in two sizes:

12" x 16" (30cm x 40cm): $35.00

24" x 32" (60cm x 80cm): $48.00


“Gandalf! Gandalf! Good gracious me! Not the wandering wizard that gave Old Took a pair of magic diamond studs that fastened themselves and never came undone till ordered? Not the fellow who used to tell such wonderful tales at parties, about dragons and goblins and giants and the rescue of princesses and the unexpected luck of widows' sons? Not the man who used to make such particularly excellent fireworks! I remember those!” - The Hobbit, Chapter 1: An Unexpected Party


Painting the beloved opening scene of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit can only be described as a challenge of pure joy. The author’s innumerable gifts as a storyteller, his brilliant humor, and his unparalleled command of the English language shine out as he introduces us to Bilbo Baggins, our very first hobbit!


Tolkien sketched and painted the entrance to Bag End again and again, and I have represented the architecture here as faithfully as possible. Bilbo’s front door is not flat against the front of the hilltop as is sometimes depicted — rather, it is the entrance to a long tunnel delved into the side of The Hill, and the earth has been cut away to form a little dooryard where his garden bench sits. It is April, and so some of the fondly-loved flowers we hear about in the opening of The Lord of the Rings are not yet in bloom.


Instead, I have planted Bilbo’s dooryard garden with the blossoms of early spring. There are cowslips, oxlips, cow parsley, bugloss, woodland strawberry, violets, grape hyacinth, the first corn poppies and native English daffodils, amongst other things. Even Bilbo’s roof is a wild garden of primroses, dandelions and daisies. Twined around his door is an early relative of the dog rose.


Bilbo’s formality is represented by the topiary which Professor Tolkien repeatedly illustrated, but we can see the hobbit’s fondness for the wandering “nasturtians” present in the first trailers of these plants emerging from the pot so that they can wreathe his door in bright color later in the summer. Perhaps the topiary is the respectable, staid Baggins side of the hobbit, while the nasturians are his Took side, secretly longing to ramble. If you bring home a print of this original, hand-done painting, you will also notice a hint at Bilbo’s coming adventure in the thrush that is visiting his bird bath, presaging the role just such a bird will play when he and the dwarves reach the Lonely Mountain on Durin’s Day.


I have also closely followed Tolkien’s notes on apparel which are included in Hammond & Scull’s J.R.R. Tolkien Artist & Illustrator. Bilbo is in his green coat with gold (or brass) buttons, yellow waistcoat, and green velvet breeches. On other days, he might wear a brown coat and a red waistcoat. Gandalf’s grey cloak, blue hat, silver scarf, black boots and blue hat are all described in The Hobbit, and Tolkien sketched them many times. It has been an honor to attempt to portray all these details faithfully.


But above all, I wanted to depict lively, funny, and meaningful interplay between Bilbo and Gandalf at this celebrated meeting. Bilbo wants to appear to be busy with his letters, his pipe, his morning, but excitement overcomes him in realizing that he is face-to-face with the wandering wizard of local legend. We are instantly enchanted by the description of the wizard’s well-remembered fireworks and his suspected role in a number of adventures that seem to come right from the pages of the Grimms. Meanwhile, Gandalf’s inimitable wit is on display in quizzing Bilbo on his choice of words and in not wanting to be turned away as if he were selling buttons at the door! I worked to capture both the surprise and wonder of Bilbo and the dry humor and kindness of Gandalf.


Tolkien readers will know that the fate of Middle-earth will come to hang in the balance of the wizard feeling prompted to choose this particular hobbit, in a sub-created world in which folk great and small appear to be chosen as the instruments of the will of Eru, but just as Tolkien didn’t realize this when he first penned the opening lines of The Hobbit, first-time readers of “An Unexpected Party” only know that we have just been introduced to some fascinating, charming and original characters. Like Bilbo, we are on the threshold of a truly great adventure!


This fine art print will help you honor and celebrate your love of your own first meeting with a hobbit and make it as though you have a hobbit garden in your own home. An excellent gift for Tolkien fans of all ages!


Would you like to learn more about the opening chapter of The Hobbit? Read: Nasturtians and Topiary: The Two Sides of Bilbo Baggins.

"Not the Wandering Wizard" Tolkien Art Print

  • Every print you purchase comes with a white border for your convenience. The 32” x 24” print features an image that is 24” x 20” total, with a 2” border on the top and bottom, and a 4” border on either side. The 16” x 12” print features an image that is 12” x 10” total, with a 1” border on the top and bottom, and a 2” border on either side. If you take your print to a framer, you can either have it framed with the border or have your framer remove the border before framing.


    The 250 gsm/ 110lb paper is perfect for fine art, designed to last for years without losing its original beauty. It is FSC-certified paper or equivalent certifications, depending on regional availability, for the sake of the Earth. Each poster is shipped in robust packaging, ensuring it arrives safely and securely. Paper sizes may vary slightly by region. For the US and Canada, the measurement is in inches, while for the rest of the world, it is in centimeters.

  • Your order will be printed on-demand by Gelato - a recognized leader in the creation of fine art prints. As the artist, I have ordered samples of my prints to ensure quality, but if you experience any quality issues, please contact support at Gelato via the many support options offered on this page:
    Thank you so much for your purchase. Wishing you great enjoyment!

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