An interesting extract from Chris Salewicz’s new biography of Jimmy Page:
The sleeve artwork of Led Zeppelin’s fourth album, dissected by Jimmy Page biographer Chris Salewicz… The Hermit invites us to discover wisdom and the progress that comes with study; the card also indicates that the Hermit is a person of integrity, but that he is scared to trust in others and completely express what he is feeling – very much as Jimmy Page was, polite to the point of sometimes being a little boring. The painting of the Hermit on the inner sleeve was by a supposed friend of Jimmy Page’s called Barrington Coleby. There is no record whatsoever of any such person, and there were those who believed the real painter was none other than Jimmy Page himself.
Source: The secrets of Led Zeppelin IV: from ecology to the occult | Louder