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

— Ruth Lacon

12 January 2022 | Beyond Bree, January, 2022, 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.…

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date recorded 📅2022-01-12
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