· Posted: 13 Jun 2004 01:20
Have now been to this, and while it is very small, it was quite rewarding. Almost all, if not all, of the artwork on show was labelled as facsimile, but they were fantastic reproductions, and as the effect was as good to my eye as looking at original art, this was a a minor point.
The exhibits were all on five or six framed glass panels, set on a landing and up the main stair-case. They started with pages from “Petit Vingtieme” (LPV) taken from “Cigars”, with printed versions from the supplements, a larger panel of Tintin at sea in the coffin, which was paired with a coloured tracing-paper overlay on which the colouring was specified, and some of the other artwork.
Another panel had some further artwork and sketches, and some of the infamous brown sheets with reference cuttings on them, in this case of ships at dock. These had annotations and reference numbers on them, but the way they were mounted didn’t really reveal what form these took.
There was a very good panel which contained about a dozen of the cover illustrations from LPV, often sketched over in blue pencil to indicate the tinting, but also including a very nice cover from “Black Island” which was in full colour - a note said Hergé had done this over the original sketch to give as a gift to a member of his family.
In a similar vein, they then had a very nice selection from “Shooting Star” of Tintin on the island; these were to show the colouring work Hergé did. It would seem that he did this himself, and worked on versions of the pages which had been reduced (almost by half, to my eye), in both gouache and pastel. The commentary on the accompanying card noted how this was the first book to be done for colour from the start, and is still being printed now as it was then. It pointed out that Hergé worked out his palette of colours to great effect from the start.
Next were pieces dealing with the missing bits from “Prisoners”, of Tintin on board ship with the cat, amongst others, and finally a selection of images from “Red Sea Sharks”, going from pencil sketches to finished art, then a blue colour-separation, a black line overlay, and the printer’s film with the dialogue on it.
It was, as I said at the start, a very interesting display for something so small, and I am glad I went. Add to this spotting Paul Gravett having a drink with Benoît Peeters in the café, and it was well worth getting along to!