Re: Picture of Sauron painted by Tolkien
That picture likely represents Sauron as he is during the Third Age. Before that he appeared in a very handsome, appealing manner, which is how he was able to deceive the Numenoreans, and prod them along to their destruction (which included his own physical destruction).
Originally Posted by Arasilion
After that, he was unable to assume an attractive form, and was only able to appear as he really is. We know this because that's how Tolkien describes him, though he doesn't give any specific details that I know of, such as "he had dark hair, and grey eyes, and he was 6'0" tall", etc.
[FONT=Arial][SIZE=1][COLOR=white][B]But when dark things come from the houseless hills, or creep from sunless woods, they fly from us. What roads would any dare to tread, what safety would there be in quiet lands, or in the homes of simple men at night, if the Dunedain were asleep, or were all gone into the grave?[/B] - [I]Aragorn, at the Council of Elrond[/I][/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]