The auction house Artcurial is set to create a stir by revealing an exceptional item that is new to the market: the artwork by Hergé created as the initial cover design for the album Le Lotus bleu in 1936. Deemed too costly to reproduce in colour at the time, the design was turned down by the publisher. Hergé gave it to the young son of publisher Louis Casterman. The boy kept it tucked away in a drawer, carefully folded in six.
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 undoubtedly one of the most evocative covers of any of the young reporter’s adventures. After becoming friends with Tchang Tchong-Jen, the only real person other than Al Capone to be incorporated into the adventures of Tintin, Hergé’s style changed, becoming more assured. This artwork in Indian ink, watercolour and gouache on paper is estimated at 2 – 3 M€ / 2.3 – 3.4 M$. It will be presented across Europe, exhibited in Artcurial’s gallery Monaco from 15th July to 11th September, in Munich from 10th to 13th November and finally in Paris on 19th and 20th November, before coming under the hammer on 21st November at Artcurial.
The leader in this field, Artcurial currently holds eight of the top ten auction prices for work by Hergé, including the world record price for a comic strip drawing by any artist, achieved on 24 May 2014 for the inside cover pages of a Tintin album (2.6M€ / 3.6M$). The sale of the rare and unique artwork for Le Lotus bleu promises to create a stir once again, for the delight of all fans of the “9th art”.
“This artwork is a genuine masterpiece encaspulating Hergé’s genius and is probably the most beautiful Tintin album cover ever!”
Eric Leroy, Comic Strips expert, Artcurial
From Tuesday 10th to Friday 13th November 2020 in Munich
Galeriestrasse 2 b
Saturday 21st November 2020, 2pm
7 Rond-Point des Champs-Elysées
Saveria de Valence
+33 1 42 99 20 11