Monday, October 31, 2011


When I was working on my lecture on Tintin in February, rereading all the albums, I noticed something familiar when I saw the frame with the Inka from Prisoners of the Sun. I checked and yes, the likeness with Bellinis Doge of Venice was obvious.

We start with the frame with the Inca.
Take away the colours to see the lineart clearly.
Superimpose it over the Bellini painting, I have dimmed the colours a bit for clarity, and you can clearly see the likeness. Notice how the profile, cheek bones, eyes, mouth and even the dimples match. I don't think this is a coincidence, rather an intelligent loan by Hergé.
Here are the two side by side. Bellini is one of my favourite painters, this painting especially. I definitely saw Hergés version first so I wonder if that has something to do with me appreciating the Doge painting.

In my opinion this doesn't deteriorate Hergés work in any way. I see it as a homage to Bellini and as T.S. Eliot said: 'Bad writers imitate, good writers steal'.

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