The covers to LOTR translations are varied in both their creativity and their adherence to tradition.  They range from simply the name of the book on a monochromatic background to colorful pieces of abstract original art.  The following pages will group together the covers with similar designs.  Most pieces of named art are clips from larger works.  In order to see the larger work in its entirety, click on the work's name.

In terms of what I consider to be the "cover", it varies.  Paperbacks tend not to have dust covers so that is what is depicted here and throughout this website.  Hardbacks tend to have dust covers that are decorated with art and the title of the book so that is what is depicted here and throughout this website.  There are exceptions to both of these generalizations although far more of the latter than the former.  Two Japanese hardcover editions that I own (Japanese C & D) have decorated cardboard slipcovers on each volume and all are enclosed in a box.  I treat the slipcovers as simply fancy dust covers by analogy.

Art references in my Tolkien library:

Realms of Tolkien: Images of Middle-Earth. HarperPrism, 1996.

Tolkien’s World: Painting of Middle-Earth. MJF Books, 1992.  ISBN:  1-56731-248-9

Benson, Stéphanie, Christophe Gallaz, John Howe, and Christopher Lee. John Howe: Sur les terres de Tolkien. Translated by Patrick Couton. L’Atalante, 2002.  ISBN: 978-2-84172-230-3 

Blok, Cor. Une Tapisserie pour Tolkien, Illustrations pour Le Seigneur des Anneaux. Edited by Pieter Collier. Translated by Vincent Ferré. Christian Bourgois Éditeur, 2011.  ISBN:  978-2-267-02224-7  (The English original runs about $1000.  The French translation is less than $50.)

Hildebrandt, Jr., Gregory. Greg and Tim Hildebrandt, The Tolkien Years. Edited by Glenn Herdling. Watson-Guptill Publications, 2001.  ISBN: 0-8230-5124-2

Lee, Alan. The Lord of the Rings Sketchbook. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2005.  ISBN:  978-0-618-64014-0

———. The Hobbit Sketchbook. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019.  ISBN:  978-0-358-38020-7

Tolkien, Christopher. Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1992.  ISBN: 978-0-358-65304-2