On Saturday, during the Bande Dessinée sale at Sotheby’s in Paris, a bidding war took place for Albert Uderzo’s masterpiece from the Devin album. Never before seen on the market, this comic board just broke the artist’s world record, selling at €319,500.
The board had been offered and signed by Uderzo for his German editor’s executive assistant. This piece is very revealing of the artist’s genius, both in the narration and in the staging.
The fourth instalment of our Comics sale in Paris features over 60 treasures from the history of the artform. Among these masterpieces are works from three masters of the golden age of European comics: Franquin, Hergé and Uderzo.
Executed by Franquin in 1958, the truly exceptional plate of Spirou et les petits formats is bursting with life. The eponymous protagonist of the comic is depicted alongside Marsupilami, a fascinating animal that Franquin liked to depict “au naturel” with a combination of candor, vitality and mischievousness. Franquin creates a detailed scene without overworking it and, with the help of fellow artist Jean Roba, concentrates on drawing the reader’s eye to the action. Of particular interest are his use of shadow and the way he plays with the exposed stonework and outlines buildings in the background.
Have you ever dreamed of drawing with Hergé? Thanks to the original work in our sale your dream could come true! The main characters from the Adventures of Tintin are all depicted on a painter’s palette, and it is the inclusion of all six here that makes this work so desirable. Originally published in 1957, the work was designed for the cover of a colouring book. The striking modernity of this illustration just goes to show Hergé's interest in painting and his talent as a poster artist.
The extract from Le Devin is more than just a cartoon board, it is a joy. It reveals the genius of Astérix’s creator Uderzo at staging scene, but also his comic talent and his skill at depicting movement. When Obélix’s dog Idéfix leaps onto his master, the reader is left in no doubt as to what is happening. Equally, in the subsequent box, Obélix’s anger is represented by wisps of air, but also by the appearance of the lettering and the speech bubble. Uderzo leaves nothing to chance, even paying homage to Rembrandt’s painting The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp.