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"In the summer of 1911, Tolkien went on a walking holiday in the high Alps, during which he bought a postcard reproduction of a painting called Der Berggeist, ‘The Mountain Spirit’. The painting shows an old man with a white beard and long cloak sitting on a rock under a pine tree, and from whose hand a young deer is eating.

According to Humphrey Carpenter, Tolkien ‘preserved this postcard carefully, and long afterwards he wrote on the paper cover in which he  kept it: ‘Origin of Gandalf’.’ "

David Rowe
Oloris Publishing

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