A Review on: ‘TINTIN: Hergé’s Masterpiece’
On the 12 of November 2015, the admission-free exhibition “TINTIN: Hergé’s Masterpiece” was officially declared as open, in the Terrace Rooms, of the South Wing in the Somerset House in London.
The exhibition presents and explores the history and evolution of the now 85-year-old and still celebrated artwork of the cartoon books Tintin. Those started from simple comic-strips in newspapers and end up in the iconic 20 graphic books, which were sold over 200 million times, shaping several generations and are popular with all age groups. Most of the exhibition pieces were borrowed and lent by the Archive of the Hergé-Museum located in Brussels.
The display takes place in three rooms, these are organised in chronological order, containing a variety of simple pencil drafts and drawings of the stories, among those watercolour works are included, as well as character drawings and original artworks from the finished books. The 2D artworks are accompanied by 3D works and models and information to the artist person himself. The main topics are the life and career progression of the french author and artist Hergé (22 May 1907 – 3 March 1983) and his created character, out of his masterpiece ‘The Adventures of Tintin‘. Who is a young and adventure-seeking, independent reporter, accompanied by his stalwart dog Snowy and his friend Captain Haddock, who hurl themselves into hair-rising and incredible adventures.
The exhibition venue itself is aligned to the exhibition, walls are covered with wallpapers inspired by the end papers of the hardcover books, showing portraits of characters .
The ceiling high windows are turned into artworks, covered with illustrated foils showing images out of the books, which counts as well for the characteristic fireplaces of the Terrace Rooms. On the walls are frames with artworks and information to Hergé’s life and his work. In the middle of the rooms can 3D works be found, showing memorable scenarios out of the stories, like the Marlinspike Hall or Captain Haddock’s country house.
The exhibition is a real must-visit for every cartoon and TINTIN fan, good for the young and the old. Through the make-off of the display, it seems like the visitor steps into the world of one of the most iconic cartoon-characters, created by Hergé. Due to the fact that he was not only interested in art and illustration, but also in design and architecture, he was able to create this realistic and detailed fictive parallel world. The Somerset House was fully successful in presenting the history of the artist and his artwork. The rooms which are decorated with deliberation resenting perfectly and very lively the topic. In addition to that, is the Somerset house the perfect location for the display, because it bears a likeness to Captain Haddock’s country house.
The exhibition continues until the 31 of January 2016 and is open daily from 10 am to 6pm (last entry is at 5.15pm), late night openings take place on Thursdays and Fridays until 21.00 (last admission is at 8.15pm) .