Cover drawing for “Tintin” novels sells for 3.2 million euros

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Cover drawing for “Tintin” novels sells for 3.2 million euros


Saturday – 3 Jumada al-Akhira 1442 AH – January 16, 2021 AD Issue No. [
15390]


A painting for the cover of one of the “Tintin” volumes at auction in Paris (Reuters)

Paris – London: “Asharq Al-Awsat”

A drawing by artist Erge prepared for the cover of one of the volumes of the adventures of “Tintin” entitled “The Blue Lotus Flower” has set a new record for sales of graphic novels at auction It was sold for 3.175 million euros, including expenses. “Arcorial” house said, “The price of this highly sought-after masterpiece eventually rose to 3175,400 euros after a competition between three bidders by phone,” noting that the buyer is a group aficionado, according to “Agence France-Presse”.
It should be noted that the Casterman family was the one who offered for sale this drawing, worked in Indian ink, gouache, and watercolor, which dates back to 1936. This drawing was not used as a cover for the volume due to the high cost of printing, but rather a simplified version was chosen. Mystery surrounds this work that is being offered for sale at virtual auction due to the pandemic; It is reported that Erge was introduced by Jean Paul, son of the publisher of “Tintin” Louis Casterman, who was seven years old at the time, as confirmed by the publisher’s heirs. It is believed that the child folded the drawing into six parts and kept it in a drawer, from which the drawing was taken decades later.
But experts question the veracity of this story; A number of them saw that the fold marks appearing on the paper belonged to that Erge himself had put the drawing in an envelope to send it to the deputy director of the edition. Since 1936, the drawing, along with others, has remained with Casterman. The “blue lotus flower” is considered one of the masterpieces of the Belgian painter. It marks a turning point in his drawings. The cartoons of this volume were published between 1934 and 1935 in the magazine “Poti Fantime” before the volume itself was published in 1936. This drawing, which has been described as “an exceptional and distinguished piece,” shows the famous graphic novel hero wearing a Chinese costume and hanging his head from a jar, facing him a dragon lying in wait.
The record set at an auction by the French house itself in 2014 for sales of “Tintin” case covers was 2.51 million euros (including costs).

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