François Schuiten’s meeting with Claude Renard, his teacher at the Saint-Luc Institute in Brussels turned out to be more than just academic. It was at Renard’s sides that François cut his teeth in the Ninth Art. It was there that he learned to tell a story and arrange and balance the layout of a page of cartoons.

The two artists grew closer and discovered a common form of art that would lead them – in the early 1980s – to create two ‘four-handed’ stories: Aux médianes de Cymbiola and Le Rail. These were subsequently published together in the serie Métamorphoses. These joint creations were drawn entirely in crayon so as to enable their two styles to merge into a more homogenous form.

Aux médianes de Cymbiola was drawn mainly in black and white and based on an original idea of François, who imagined a man who could fly, thanks to a structure made from fabric stretched over wooden ‘bones’. The story takes us on a quest that is an allusion to the myth of Icarus.

Le Rail is based on an idea of Claude’s and inspired by mechanical-existential questions relating to his car and his « mechanical slyness ».

works on paper
Material / technique: 
pencil and acrylic on paper
Type of acquisition: 
Donated by François Schuiten
Year of acquisition: 
Depository institution: 
Bibliotheca Wittockiana, Brussels