At first glance, these may look like Russian Orthodox iconography from the Middle ages. But they are actually striking illustrations of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien by Ukrainian artist Sergei Iukhimov.

Iukhimov's watercolor illustrations have graced Russian-language editions of Lord of the Rings, and we're honestly jealous that we didn't grow up with these faux-Medieval interpretations of Tolkien's epic. They evoke the legendary feel of Middle Earth, but also add a sense of whimsy.

You can see more of Iukhimov's paintings at Live Memory and egelantier's Tumblr.

[via MetaFilter]