A rare, striking Tintin drawing auctions for ₹28,06,27,352
On January 14th this year, a new world record blurred the line between mainstream art and comic art. An original drawing by the Belgian cartoonist Hergé (1907–1983), creator of the iconic comic series The Adventures of Tintin, sold for €3,175,400 (or approximately ₹28,06,27,352) at an auction held by Artcurial, a Paris based auction house. A session at the auction dedicated to The World of Hergé, presented more than 100 artworks by the cartoonist. Among it was a rare and exceptional work — the illustration project by Hergé for the cover of the original edition of the 1936 Lotus Bleu album. This initial cover design for Le Lotus Bleu, Tintin’s fifth adventure and the album that marked a turning point in Hergé’s career, is one of the most evocative covers of the comic book series.
The drawing, though near-complete, is an unfinished work. Ultimately, this work proved to be expensive to be reproduced in colour. (Tintin albums were already expensive for the market.) So the final drawing that appeared in the print was a much simpler version of the original one painted by Hergé.
After a bidding battle between three clients by telephone, this highly coveted masterpiece was finally acquired by a private collector. The previous world record for a comic strip drawing by any artist was for the inside cover pages of a Tintin album (2.6M€), also held at Artcurial.
The Lotus Bleu has set a new world record for a work of an original comic strip work sold at auction, all artists combined. This auction result also settles the age-old question of how serious and valuable comic art is.
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