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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


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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.
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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.
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
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.
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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