Beyond Bree

Nancy Martsch, editor

January, 2022

12 January 2022

In this issue: 2 articles, 1 review.


The Oeschinensee and Tolkien’s drawing, “The West-gate of Moria”

Ruth Lacon, p. 1

J.R.R. Tolkien’s drawing … appears to me to combine two views of the Oeschinensee, a famous alpine lake close to Kandersteg in the Bernese Oberland. The upper part of the painting shows the lake and a close-up view of the cliffs on its far side; the lower part derives from the Outer Oeschital [valley] below the lake. The two are at quite different scales, but fairly skillfully combined into one plausible image. As you climb up the old main path from Kandersteg to the Oeschinensee and emerge at the top, directly facing you across the water are the cliffs of the Blümlisalp Rothorn (10,828 ft) (Baedeker 222), one of the seven peaks of that mountain massif. In side-light, the cliffs seem quite rough. In different light, however, the same cliffs can seem very flat.…

Hidden faces IVb: The face of cruel Caradhras

Denis Bridoux, p. 5

Exploring the drawing of Old Man Willow” [Beyond Bree, Dec 21] invited me to revisit another Lord of the Rings drawing, namely Moria Gate.” Despite the title, it is surprising to see the tiny size of the feature giving its name to the piece, located as it is at the bottom of an immense cliff face (left). Most of the time, we focus on the middle of the illustration, where the action occurs and we ignore the top section. Do note the strange symmetry of the piece, its axis of symmetry with the minuscule Gate in the middle, flanked by two just as diminutive trees. It is only by looking towards the top of the picture with a loose focus that what concerns us reveals itself, hence the thumbnail size of it (left), showing a face with two blue eye-like features at the top, evoked by the two blue summits, and a long nose resembling a kind of baboon muzzle, where the two trees form the nostrils. The pool looks like a mouth and the further shore has the appearance of a thin upper lip.…


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date recorded 📅2022-01-12
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