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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

Three Re-do's of Frodo Art Travesties....

Posted on 2006.04.14 at 16:29
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~ Detail from Frodo in "The Death of Chatterton."

I re-did some older Art Travesty manips....

I have been so pleased with the results working with the new photo program I got at Christmas, I have decided to tweak and even re-do some of my old Frodo art manips. This is just to serve as notice for those of you who save these images in your files. If saved them more than a couple of days ago, please know that these Art Travesties have been redone.

1. The Death of Chatterton, by Henry Wallis, c. 1856.

See original painting here.

Putting Frodo's face into this well-known 19th century painting was one of my first attempts at making an art manip. I loved the way the painting went with the passage from the text (see below), but I never was happy with the way the face fit into the picture. My old program simply couldn't do feathered edges, so if the shadow of the chin line didn't mask the join to the neck, the join was very obvious.

I think the new version is very much improved. Many thanks again to my husband for buying me the new program. I have got so much better at this because of it.

~ Frodo at Farmer Cotton's, per Henry Wallis:


When the Row was ready he went with the Gaffer. In addition to all his other labours he was busy directing the cleaning up and restoring of Bag End; but he was often away in the Shire on his forestry work. So he was not at home in early March and did not know that Frodo had been ill. On the thirteenth of that month Farmer Cotton found Frodo lying on his bed; he was clutching a white gem that hung on a chain about his neck and he seemed half in a dream.

'It is gone for ever,' he said, 'and now all is dark and empty.'

2. The Awakening Conscience, by William Holman Hunt, c. 1853.

To view the original Holman Hunt, click here.

This manip was made from another Pre-Raphaelite's work. I thought it a very pretty, very charming, but very silly picture. In the original painting the young courtesan is rising from her lover's lap because she has seen the light ("the awakening conscience"). With Frodo in the painting, I thought she looked like she had seen the light, too, but one that made her inclined to sit in his lap, not leap out of it.

As a manip, I thought it made a very fine picture of Mr. Baggins (the one of naughty fanfics), entertaining at home.

The original manip was made from a rather small image of the painting, so the resulting manip was not only smaller, it lacked good detail and crispness. The colours were a little smeary and Frodo's face was not quite in focus. I like this version much better.

~ Frodo entertaining at home, per William Holman Hunt:

3. The Fortune Teller, by Caravaggio, c. 1595.

To see the original Caravaggio, click here.

This was another one of my earliest manips. The face I had chosen (a smile from the Grey Havens scene) was enchanting; very saucy, but it looked terribly pasted-on. When I decided to re-do it this week, I tried some different faces.

Finally I chose this one, a near-profile from the Green Dragon scene in the end of RotK. I thought it created quite a different mood. Frodo had looked boyishly confident in the previous version, as if he thought the whole thing a lark or an excuse to chat up the fortune teller. In this one Frodo looks more ambivalent about hearing what she has to say, almost reluctant under a guise of skepticism. I imagine him experiencing just the tiniest prick of foreboding. But the fortune teller's look is one of gentle encouragement, and her touch delicate.

~ Frodo submits to having his fortune told, per Caravaggio:

The Fortuneteller, by Caravaggio

4. Portrait of a Youth, by Georg Pencz, c. 1544.

To see how greatly Frodo improved this portrait, click here.

This manip was the best of the series in which we in the Harem (at Khazad-dum) snorted over the Tudor fashion of the padded, stiffened cod piece. Ah, what fun we had writing racy, silly vignettes to go with the manips. I made others, but I definitely preferred this one.

Nothing could top the flamboyant, assertive sexuality of this Tudor youth's costume (with it's notably upstanding, flaming red velvet codpiece) -- nothing except the face of Frodo wearing one of his smokiest expressions.

The only thing I re-did on this one was do a better match of tones between the colour of Frodo's face and the hands of the young man in original portrait. (They had not matched well at all.)

~ Frodo, as Georg Pencz's youth:

Well, that's it for this lot.


I will be presenting my new and improved "full-frontal Frodo's." I re-did the only two Art Travesties that feature Frodo in paintings that are fully nude, the Michelangelo David (I re-did the harsh chin area) and the Reni Bacchus and Ariadne (I gave him an organ transplant).

~ Mechtild


mews1945 at 2006-04-14 23:11 (UTC) (Link)
I absolutely love that Chatterton manip. You've really done a smashing job of blending it so that his face fits perfectly into the painting. I've always liked that painting so much anyway, the grace of the figure, the delicate lighting, the feeling of silence. The Caravaggio is beautiful too. Lush colors, and beautiful light, and his face really does look as though he belongs there. I don't ahve the first idea how you manage to create these, but I'm sure it takes quite a lot of exacting effort, and I'm very glad you do them. They're so beautiful.
mechtild at 2006-04-14 23:45 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Mews. I love them all, of course, or I wouldn't have bothered to re-do them.
shirebound at 2006-04-15 00:13 (UTC) (Link)
How *does* she make these??? It's wizardly magic, I think.
mews1945 at 2006-04-15 00:17 (UTC) (Link)
Has to be. I love to go to the link she has and look at the manips she's done. Frodo's a work of art anyway, as the screencaps show so well, and it's wonderful to see him fitted into these great paintings.
mechtild at 2006-04-15 02:00 (UTC) (Link)
What? Looking in the Travesty Album? No fair peaking. I have yet to unveil the re-do I most slaved over (because I'm a Slave to Love). :)
mews1945 at 2006-04-15 02:02 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, okay, I won't go then. Promise. Hope you get it up for us soon, now you've got me dying of curiosity.
mechtild at 2006-04-15 02:43 (UTC) (Link)
I'll work on it in a moment. It involves a lot of pics, since I want to present the various versions and resource pics.

P.S. I couldn't resist doing one more tweak to Frodo's hair above his collar in The Fortune Teller. I am such a MANIAC! Kill me now! (Naaah, it's fun.)
mews1945 at 2006-04-15 02:54 (UTC) (Link)
That is so pretty. Love the way it lies so soft on his neck. And the velvet look of his coat and the suede gloves look so soft touchable. The expression on this face is really perfect for this manip.
mechtild at 2006-04-15 05:11 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Mews! I thought although it was a small touch, it added something.

Ah, that face comes from such a beautiful scene. I made caps of it last week and hope to present it in a few weeks (the ride with Bilbo to the Grey Havens).
shirebound at 2006-04-15 00:14 (UTC) (Link)
I remember that first one! What a masterpiece. All of them are fascinating; Elijah would have been a much sought-after model for these painters.
mechtild at 2006-04-15 02:03 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Shirebound! I am so glad you looked in. I am thrilled with the new, improved Chatterton. I was able to make the whole thing larger this time, and with much better facial focus and hair work, too. Woo hoo for the better program - and for learning how to use it better.

I really would love to take a class and get really good at it. Maybe a college in the area offers a course?
trianne at 2006-04-15 02:15 (UTC) (Link)
These are quite stunning.
~ Frodo submits to having his fortune told, per Caravaggio:
- I just love the expression in his face in this one; you made a fabulous choice of image, and the result is rather amazing :)
mechtild at 2006-04-15 02:46 (UTC) (Link)
Why, thank you, Trianne. I just now replaced the Fortune Teller with a slightly tweaked version. I only fiddled with the hair above the collar. I didn't think it quite set properly.

That scene from which the face was taken for The Fortune Teller has a brief but lovely string profile and semi-profile frames in it. I hope to present the sceencaps from it one of these days.
The One Mari
marigold6 at 2006-04-15 05:30 (UTC) (Link)

here via Mews...

These are stunning...that first one - oh my!

I know he really would have been the perfect model for any of the great Masters...
mechtild at 2006-04-15 07:23 (UTC) (Link)

Re: here via Mews...

I know he really would have been the perfect model for any of the great Masters...

This was exactly why I started to make them. In the films, in nearly every frame he looked like a living, breathing painting. Why not see how he looked in other eras of painting?

Thanks so much for commenting, Marigold.
mechtild at 2006-05-16 22:26 (UTC) (Link)

Re: here via Mews...

Thank you, Marigold. I had thought the painting by Wallis at the top (of the young poet who killed himself (as a result of a sad, dissolute, impoverished life), was a natural for that scene from the book, even before I had thought of making a manip.
Starlit Woods
starlit_woods at 2006-04-15 10:07 (UTC) (Link)
They're all fantastic and you get better each time. The earlier versions were great but your improvements are really wonderful! I love seeing Frodo used as a model for these classical artworks! Thank you so much for doing them and sharing them, I hope you'll do more! *hugs*
mechtild at 2006-04-15 12:24 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Starlit Woods. I don't plan on re-doing *all* of them, just the ones I thought most plainly in need of improvement. The one made from Gainsborough's "Blue Boy", for instance, is among the first made, but I think it looks fine the way it is, even if it was just the simples cut and paste with some extra hair drawn in. It really didn't require anything fancy, just the right face shot to go with it.

Oh, you meant more new ones. Well, I have seen one or two paintings during my searches that one day might make manips.... :D
Starlit Woods
starlit_woods at 2006-04-15 12:30 (UTC) (Link)
Yes I agree completely that the earlier ones still look perfect as they are! But definitely I need some more new ones...you can't get me addicted and then take the drug away ;) *is excited about your new finds* :D
Estë   (or ST for short)
este_tangletoes at 2006-04-15 12:30 (UTC) (Link)
Utterly devastating Mechtild. Beautifully done.

Each has its own emotional impact on me. Frodo in a swoon, at Farmer Cotton's, rips my heart to shreds, and Frodo submitting to having his fortune told makes me smile because of the sceptical expression on his beautiful face.

Frodo entertaining at home to me has a sweet playful atmosphere, and I like to think that the surprised look on the lasses face, is because she has just remembered she’d forgotten to put the Sunday roast in the oven *grin*

Smouldering Frodo, wearing his heart on his sleeve. He is very deep in thought, wondering if he should be less open regarding where is heart lies. Or he is showing off the size of his - - - - income – what did you think I was about to say? * grin *
mechtild at 2006-04-15 12:59 (UTC) (Link)
Smouldering Frodo, wearing his heart on his sleeve ... Or he is showing off the size of his - - - - income – what did you think I was about to say? * grin *

You mean he keeps his money in there? I've heard men sometimes used their codpieces as pockets, but as purses? I would love to go shopping with him.

Seriously, Este, thanks so much for your warm, appreciative comments.

frodosweetstuff at 2006-04-15 15:04 (UTC) (Link)
The Frodo as Chatterton is absolute perfection!!! :)
mechtild at 2006-04-15 19:45 (UTC) (Link)
Doesn't it work beautifully?

One day a few years ago I saw that painting in someone's signature box at TORc, the LotR messageboard that used to be my regular home. That very day I had been reading the passage I quoted about Frodo at the Cotton's. I thought, "Wow, would that make a great illustration!"

It wasn't till another year later, though, that I tried to make my first manip. But that one have been #1 on my list -- if only I could figure out how to do it.
frodosweetstuff at 2006-04-18 14:13 (UTC) (Link)
Yes. *giggles* Everytime I see it I compulsively rightclicksave it, even though I have it in my folders a couple of times already. :D

btw, I recently saw a pic that I thought would be wonderful for a Frodo art travesty. It is "Love Weeps" by William Adolphe Bouguereau - I found it at www.corbis.de - just enter the title and name in the search box - but it must be somewhere else on the net as well. :) Of course, rather an innocent pic but the belly just reminded me so much of Frodo's CU belly...
mechtild at 2006-04-18 15:00 (UTC) (Link)
I'll have to track it down and take a look at it. Thanks for the lead.
mechtild at 2006-04-18 15:23 (UTC) (Link)
Here's the largest copy I could find of the painting....

Love Weeps by Wm. A. Bourguereau

This is really not my sort of material, Frodosweetstuff, paritally for its coyness, but mostly for the same reason the Bouguereau below is not, which starlit_woods told me about:

Homer and his Guide by Bouguereau

The Homer illlustration is a wonderful painting, and the youth in the image already looks enough like EW as Frodo that it doesn't need any further manipping! But I haven't the urge to do manips of Frodo as a child.

I began to make these as an act of homage to film-Frodo's classical beauty, but also as an act of swoonage for the film/book character with whom I had become enamoured. I just can't get a swoon up for little boy-Frodo, however cheek-pinchingly cute he is (judging from EW's kid roles). I don't mean this in a pederast sort of way. Looking at kid shots of EW is a pleasure, he projects so much charm and personality (although I would not have guessed from his child shots that he would grow up to be so beautiful, really!). It was EW as Frodo, a young man [hobbit] or a youth on the cusp of becoming a man, that fired me to love and inspired me to get creative.

These images would both make great manips, technically speaking, but not ones that I would enjoy swooning over.
frodosweetstuff at 2006-04-19 12:48 (UTC) (Link)
That's okay! I just saw it and thought of your manips. :)

No, boy-Frodo is not the same as grown-up Frodo, especially for the swoon-factor.

mechtild at 2006-04-19 13:12 (UTC) (Link)
No, boy-Frodo is not the same as grown-up Frodo, especially for the swoon-factor.

Well there is boy-Frodo and there is boy Frodo.

I don't know if you were looking at this LJ when I did them, but when I posted my screencap series for Elijah Wood in "Ridiculous Thoughts" and "Flipper," I confessed that I appreciated them as fodder for my brain imagining "young teen-aged Frodo" as if he were starring in Willow-wode's RoP: The Hall. Which means I was not looking at them innocently, even if her Frodo is a kid, strictly speaking. He's a kid with a libido as big as Middle-earth, with angst enough to make him desparate to use it. I am grateful Willow has allowed me to become engrossed in her tween-Frodo's relationship with Mac, where he has been working it off.
frodosweetstuff at 2006-04-20 13:28 (UTC) (Link)
You know what - I think I saw the pic I told you about manipped already into Frodo in someone's icon!! *speechless* I must investigate this further. :)

Ah yes, that Frodo in RoP has a huge libido. If Mac wasn't there and so willing, he'd probably explode... I once hoped the fic would evolve into F/S but it doesn't look like it any more.
mechtild at 2006-04-20 17:54 (UTC) (Link)
Several of Willow's stories that take place after ROP show Frodo and Sam as entering into a love affair. It is implied in her hobbit piles that Frodo has "relations" with Sam, although he is not there with the cousins at that moment, and "Art Nouveau" which happens in Rivendell shows them as lovers. I am guessing that Willow is saving Sam for when Frodo has grown up enough to deserve him. Right now Frodo is still a bit of a brat, very callow although promising -- Sam would do better to wait until Mac has finished helping Frodo to grow up. It is clear in her story "Nexus", which seems to take place after RoP but before Frodo is out of his 'tweens, that Frodo already is a lot more mature, more loving, taking care that Merry has a good first experience. Frodo in RoP is not yet capable of that.

Which pic - the one of the coy little-boy Cupid?
frodosweetstuff at 2006-04-25 13:28 (UTC) (Link)
I am quite familiar with Willow's body of work. :) It would be lovely if she would let RoP end with Frodo and Sam either as lovers or prospective lovers. I agree that right now Sam should be glad that Mac is taking care of Frodo - and I also think that Sam himself has some growing up to do as well - of a different kind than Frodo, of course.

*nods* Yes, the Cupid pic. :)
mechtild at 2006-04-25 13:42 (UTC) (Link)
I am quite familiar with Willow's body of work. :)

I was thinking you must be, but not everyone I talk to has read her stories outside the main body of RoP, and your comment made me think perhaps you didn't know Sam was on Frodo's dance card, but in the future. :D

I also think that Sam himself has some growing up to do as well - of a different kind than Frodo, of course.

Actually, Frodosweetstuff, I think her Sam in RoP:Bag End shows surprising maturity and emotional poise for his years and level of experience. He's much further along than Frodo was at a similar same age, or even at Frodo's present age. And what Sam doesn't have in sexual experience (which is where Frodo is waaaaaay ahead of him), he will gain in two shakes when the time comes.

A person as solid and well-adjusted as her Sam only needs to love and the rest will follow, I am betting. Her Sam just doesn't have the sort of anxiety and self-consciousness that would get in the way of letting himself give himself to a sexual experience with someone he cared about. For Frodo, who in her story is a bit of a mess, everything has been a hurdle, even or especially sex, which he is driven to have but enjoys in a driven way. He only now, post-illness on the "Gillyflower" seems to be enjoying not just the sex but the person he's having it with, while he's having it. Sam, I am betting, will have no such trouble.

Of course, Willow has tripped me up several times in the past when I have tried to see ahead to where she is going, so I could be ALL wrong, LOL.
frodosweetstuff at 2006-05-03 21:04 (UTC) (Link)
:) Oh, the reason why I was/am worrying about RoP with regard to the F/S is that lately she seems to be very much into M/F and well, she could just have changed her mind about how the story will go.

I think her Sam in RoP:Bag End shows surprising maturity and emotional poise for his years and level of experience
Yes, that is true. But on the other hand, I think that he needs to leave a bit of his upbringing behind to be the mate that Frodo needs - especially if we think of the quest later on.

Agree with you about your take on Frodo and sex. :)
mechtild at 2006-05-03 21:37 (UTC) (Link)
lately she seems to be very much into M/F

Really? What's she been writing beside new chapters of Bag End? You can tell I'm really out of the loop. I'm a huge fan of "Nexus," but was not aware she had done anything else with their relationship apart from her hobbit pile stories, which I don't count as portraying actual love affairs. The sex in those seems more for comfort and a sense of belonging to a group than anything else.
frodosweetstuff at 2006-05-04 14:04 (UTC) (Link)
Ooops, am I maybe mixing her up with someone else. :) Am not a fan of hobbit piles.
mechtild at 2006-05-04 14:25 (UTC) (Link)
Maybe you are thinking of Daffodil Bolger/Aratlithiel/Anny Normal?

As DB she has written and is still finishing a big M/F work, a series of interrelated stories, called "Counterpoint." I think she said in her opening fic to that series that she had been inspired originally by Willow's Merry/Frodo relationship as it develops in Rites of Passage. Her story grew into something that goes from before Bilbo's departure until after Frodo has sailed.

(Not a fan of piles of any species; prefer in-depth relationships; although, having said that, and having read a few, even hobbit piles vary considerably in tone and appeal.)
frodosweetstuff at 2006-05-08 12:44 (UTC) (Link)
Could be! I tend to scroll over anything that is M/F so maybe I did not pay enough attention to who was posting what. :)
mechtild at 2006-05-08 13:18 (UTC) (Link)
I was thinking of this conversation with you, Frodosweetstuff, when I saw in both Middle-earth News and in Abby_Normal's LJ that Elanor Gardner has been (and still is) writing an M/F story in honour of Abby_Normal (aka Daffodil Bolger). Since Elanor Gardner is writing it, I am guessing it is very well-written and very steamy. But I thought she only wrote S/F fics... It just goes to show what little I know. :D
frodosweetstuff at 2006-05-10 13:22 (UTC) (Link)
*giggles* OMG, yes, one more going over to the dark side. :) Ah well, it can't last. *has faith in her OTP*

goldberry_b at 2006-04-17 02:56 (UTC) (Link)
I'm completely facinated! these are just wonderful :) my favorite is the Henry Wallis one, because it is still so Frodo, but the others are great fun.. its like you've been casting him to pose for these!

thanks so much for sharing!
mechtild at 2006-04-17 03:24 (UTC) (Link)
Ah, Goldberry, Frodo has been a dream as an artist's model. Not too chatty, he always holds his pose, and looks great in every era. ;)
theartoffic at 2006-05-16 15:12 (UTC) (Link)
These are soooo wonderful! Death of Chatterton is just guh! and teh codpiece *snickers* but the manips and you've quite a eye for choosing Frodo's faces to go with each piece... wonderful! :)
mechtild at 2006-05-16 22:28 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks so much! I see you are going through the lot. Eventually, I hope to "brush up" all the earlier manips I made (the ones I made before I had an LJ) and present them in journal entries, too. I liked to discuss the pics and artists, and side-issues about the films, Frodo, the book, all seem to come up because of the images. That makes it even more satisfying.
julchen11 at 2006-07-28 05:05 (UTC) (Link)
I'm dead ... I printed them all right now, will take them to work so I can think about them. Maybe my brain will work again. For now all I can say is ... unbelievable, gorgeous, overwhelming. I'll come back, promised! Thank you my dear for brightening my morning, my Froday morning. *hugs you very very tight*
the first one nearly kills me ... Frodo's face fits so very well ...
For me those art works are my beauty of the day, I'm very close to tears and another time too moved to write more.
Take care my dear, have a wonderful day.
mechtild at 2006-07-28 12:54 (UTC) (Link)
Good heavens! I am so pleased you enjoyed these! He did work out beautifully in the "Death of Chatterton"; what a great illustration I thought it made for that scene in RotK (the book).
julchen11 at 2006-07-28 21:00 (UTC) (Link)
The second one - the velvet jacket ... it's reminds me on the Master of Bag End, the expression on his face is so perfect!
Love it!

The third one - as you say the smile from the Grey Havens scene is enchanting. It makes my heart beat faster. Unbelievable it's a manip dearie!

And the last one ... unbelievable ... gorgeous.

And as always I would say ... nothing to top those pictures ... until I'm looking at another Mechtild manip

*sighs and stares for a looong looong time*

Thank you my dear! It's always a pleasure to come home to your journal...
mechtild at 2006-07-28 22:27 (UTC) (Link)
The second one reminded me of him being a naughty bachelor in Bag End, too. I know that few readers see him as the sort to entertain women, but I definitely do (if he can get his hands out of Sam's breeches for five minutes!). I love the idea of him being the sort who wore a velvet jacket over his nicely-made shirts to sit and read (or entertain...), with a glass of port and a pipe, like any British gentleman scholar of the 19th century.

The third one was full of drama and suspense, I thought. The fourth? Total melt for me. Oh, that outfit, with that pose, and that LOOK! Smoulder, smoulder, smoulder. I used the same Frodo face for the Bacchus of Caravaggio. Yum.
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