Review: The Adventures Of Tintin In London

Tintin: Hergé's Masterpiece, Somerset House ★★★☆☆

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 30 months ago
Review: The Adventures Of Tintin In London Tintin: Hergé's Masterpiece, Somerset House 3
The boy reporter on another case. Copyright Herge Moulinsart 2015

The adventures of intrepid reporter Tintin and his faithful dog Snowy has earned much more than cult status. 24 illustrated storybooks of the boy reporter's adventures have sold over 200 million copies worldwide, and the franchise recently spawned a Hollywood film.

Now, Somerset House has put on a free exhibition dedicated to the most famous creation of Georges Remi — better known as Hergé.

Upon entering this two-room show it's clear they want you to immerse in Tintin's world. Aside from framed prints, there are scale models of the sets made famous in the books — from Tintin's apartment to Marlinspike Hall, the country home of Captain Haddock.

Fans of the comic will love spotting references to their favourite stories but what about those who aren't so enamoured with the quiffed one? This is where the exhibition falters; without being given much background on the stories we're simply left to appreciate Hergé's skills as an artist.

Somerset House has worked hard to give visitors the full Tintin experience, but this could be made so much more enjoyable with the addition of one simple thing... some copies of the books!

Tintin: Hergé's Masterpiece is on at Somerset House until 31 January. The exhibition is open 10am-6pm daily and entrance is free.

Last Updated 13 November 2015

Continued below.

simondoyle

Nice review, and fair comment, but I *think* the “isolation” of the art from the books is rather the point of the exhibition? Rather than have you immerse yourself in the story-telling part of his expertise, it lets you see that the art - driven by his own love of art - is phenomenal. Self-taught, Hergé was always self-deprecating about his ability, and described himself as “a scribbler”, and this show tries to balance that with the artistry of his art.
He doesn’t require the validation to be taken seriously as someone at the top of his game and a pioneer in the form, but by putting it on the walls of a major gallery, there is acknowledgement that the quality of his line-art stands by itself - he’s a seriously good “draw-er”, not just a scribbler.

It may not be the best way, it certainly isn’t the only way, but it is a valid way. I never need an excuse to look at a Tintin book, so including them in the galleries might have some merit, but it’s nice some times to let a specific aspect of the work shine through.

But I’ll think about your comments on my next visit…! :-)

Amanda Kendal

It's a three-room 'show'.