A cover for Tintin’s "The Blue Lotus" by Belgian comic artist Hergé was sold at auction in Paris for the record sum of €3.175 million including costs, on Thursday.
The drawing in gouache, India ink and watercolour from 1936 was ultimately not used for the comic book cover as the colour palette was too expensive to print.
At the Artcurial auction house in Paris, the drawing was sold for €3,175,400 including costs - setting a world record for European comic book drawings.
Today, the first shot for the cover of the Blue Lotus by Hergé appeared for the first time on the market, going under... Posted by ARTCURIAL on Thursday, January 14, 2021
The Blue Lotus was Tintin's first successful comic book, with a solid plot, constructed and unified from beginning to end, as well as the first colour illustrations, according to Artcurial.
"Hergé used to say that comic strips are above all about telling a story" Eric Leroy, Comics Expert at Artcurial said on the auction house's website.
"Through this illustration of the Blue Lotus, probably the most beautiful cover of Tintin's adventures, the whole atmosphere of this comic strip is summed up. Direct colour in Hergé's work is extremely rare," he added.
In the Blue Lotus, Tintin aims to dismantle the international opium trade in China, a country he knows nothing about.
Accompanied by his new sidekick Tchang, in a nod to Hergé's own friend, he manages to overcome the obstacles that stand against him, through hectic adventures.
The auction house sold about 100 works from the world of Tintin on Thursday, as well as a number of other comics from other artists.
The Brussels Times