The Henu Barque trail through the 20th century.

leading from: 

I have to say that I am compiling a list of various things from Art, Scifi, Horror and Adventure comic books and films that for some reason might have something to do with the Henu Barque.

Excuse me if I am wrong about these, but for me they carry a feeling of connection with the idea of one, and so I'm going along with the explorations.

It's running along as if this thing is part of a secret conspiracy, but perhaps there are other things that have put it into focus, such as magazine articles, exhibitions etc to do with Ancient Egyptian culture



1906. a) Martian fighting machines from War of the Worlds by Henrique Alvim Correi


1920. a) Otto Dix's Skat players : Card Playing War Invalids


1921. a) See: Celebes by Max Ernst

Appears to reference Otto Dix's "Skat players : Card Playing War Invalids" and the Henu Barque
  • Perhaps was referenced by HP Lovecraft in his drawing of the Cthulhu statue. 
  • Also referenced A M Cassandre for his A Wagon-bar poster (1932)
  • Appears to have been referenced in a concept drawing for the Mondoshawan  for the movie The Fifth Element (released 1997)


1922. a) See: Henu Barque at the Hollywood Egyptian Theatre

This simplified Henu Barque depicted here has at the time of the photograph has a cobra head on the top instead of the usual kestrel head. Years later it would be painted out and then brought back with the cobra head replaced by a pharoah head.

However I'm wondering if Moebius saw this image when he started drawing his Arzach comic strip because the head of the oryx might well resemble a bird, with the horns as a long beak


1929. a) See E.L. Kirchner's "Studio of Painter"

References Henu Barque, Gauguin's Day of the God amongst, and Wyndham Lewi's Battery Shelled other things.

  • Sergei Eisenstein in a Drawing from his Macbeth series in 1931
  • Clemente Orozco's referenced it in his "Gods of the modern world" in 1934
  • Moebius appeared to reference it in his "Europ Assistance" illustration from 1981

1929. b) References Reclining Woman Who Dreams by Alberto Giacometti 


1930. a) See: Illustration for Airlines by David H Keller (published in Astounding magazine, v04n10, January 1930) by Wesso.


1931. a) See: Evolution of Lovecrafts Elder Things / Old Ones

As if Lovecraft himself is being labeled as one of the Henu Barquers, because of an initial sketch he did for his Elder Thing that he crossed out in his letter, and this would also tie in with knowledge of the Henu Barque design to be found on the outside of the Egyptian Theatre cinema in Hollywood. I suspect that he would have found out about the dark sculptural form in Dali's Portrait of Emilio Terry ahead of time by the same means that Sergei Eisenstein did, which he found inspiring for his ideas but he realised that he had to do something very different for his own creature.

1931. b) Drawing from Macbeth series by Sergei Eisenstein

Appears to have referenced E.L. Kirchner's "Studio of Painter"

1931. c) "Crucifixion as a bullfight" by Sergei Eisenstein
It's as if Eisenstein found out about the dark sculptural form from Dali's Portrait of Emilo Terry ahead of the time it was turned into a portrait,  perhaps by the same means that HP Lovecraft did, but Eisenstein knew how it tied in with Salvador Rosa's Temptation of St Anthony.

  • HR Giger would later reference this drawing in a great beast concept painting for Poltergeist 2

1931. d) See: "Persistence of Memory" by Salvador Dali

This shows itself off to follow the Henu Barque configuration in a minimalistic way if at all.


1932. a) A Wagon-Bar poster by A M Cassandre

AM Cassandre took a dive into the world of surrealism, coming up with posters such as this one which appears to reference Max Ernst's Celebes,
  • Salvador Dali would have referenced this in his Enigma of William Tell


1933. a) Enigma of William Tell by Salvador Dali

Appears to reference AM Cassandre's Wagon Bar poster and Reclining Woman Who Dreams by Alberto Giacometti . 

  • Giacommetti would draw a picture of Dali's composition in a notebook, as seen at the Giacommetti exhibition at the Tate Gallery in 2017
  • Giger would reference this painting in his own Mordor IV in 1975.


1934. a) Portrait of Mr Emilio Terry (unfinished) by Salvador Dali

Perhaps the shadowy sculpture was painted first of all around 1930, before being repurposed as a portrait of Emilio Terry in the following years and finished in 1934.

It has often been dated to 1930 however it is a bit strange to wonder why.

The painting appears to reference the Henu Barque and also Salvator Rosa's Temptation of St Anthony which seems to belong to another trail stemming from something yet to be realised.

If the shadowy sculpture had been painted, before the composition was to be used as a portrait, then it was made known to various people in America during the time of a surrealist exhibition,

How it was used afterward
  • HP Lovecraft seems to have referenced the shadowy sculpture in his initial Elder Thing sketch in 1931
  • Sergei Eisenstein seems to have referenced it for his Bullfight as crucifixion drawing in 1931.
  • It looks as if it been referenced in the design of the Excessive Machine in 1968
  • Roland Topor would reference it in an untitled drawing in 1975

1934. b) Jose Clemente Orozco's "Gods of the modern world"

References a Goya painting that references the Piranesi?

1934. c) Atmospheric Skull Sodomizing a Grand Piano by Salvador Dali (1934)

This appears to reference the Henu Barque in a simplistic way.



1936. a) Autumnal Cannibalism by Salvador Dali (1936)

While referencing horse sculptures, etc, Dali appeared to reference the Henu Barque turning the white blobs into the white pudding like material being  scooped on the left, and it also appears to reference ancient Mycaenian " Battle in the Glen," ring that oddly appears to show signs of similarities to Henu Barque as a composition.

Autumnal Cannibalism by Salvador Dali (1936)


1937.a) See: Diversification (1937) by A M Cassandre


1938.a) "Rêves de l'apparition du l'embleme" by Salvador Dali published in "Trajectoire Du Rēve"

Here I believe that the Henu Barque  here is referred to as "the emblem" but it could well have had a different name for each day of the week, for all I know. It's as if two giant sausage shapes are interlinked, the left sausage is the crouching man and the white stuff, while the right sausage is the boat itself, with the straight horizontal shape balancing on the left top of the right sausage is are the horns while the sausage upon the sausage on top of the right tip of the right sausage are the upper kestrel head and its collar. 

One can suggest that the emblem is also something else, perhaps a reclining humanoid form, but one can imagine that thoughts about human forms are merged with the idea. Around the thing are a group of human worshippers.

 (source of image: Dali Authorities on Facebook


1940 a) See: Joan Miro's "Figures in the Night Guided by the Phosphorescent Tracks"

This work appeared to be another focal point for the Henu Barquers. It appears to reference Max Ernst's Celebes and various other artists took their ideas in other directions starting from here.

  • Dali appeared to reference this work in his "The Painter's Eye" a couple of years later 
  • Dali would, reference with consideration for its relationship with Celebes, in Melancholy, Atomic Uranic Idyll” five years later.


1942 a) See: Salvador Dali's "Painter's Eye"

Dali's illustration appeared to reference Joan Miro's "Figures in the Night Guided by the Phosphorescent Tracks" in tune with the Henu Barque itself.

How it was used afterwards?
  • Meawhile, it looks as if it had been referenced by Hergé for his shipwreck, the cover featuring the shark minisub and a drawing for an antique shop from The Adventures of Tintin and Red Rackham's Treasure.
  • Through the Tintin drawing, it appears to have crept into Patrick Tatopoulos' design for the biomechanoid suit in Independence Day.
Salvador Dali's "Painter's Eye" (1942)


1944 a) Illustrations for Hergé's "The Adventures of Tintin and Red Rackham's Treasure" 

1944 a. i) See: Cover featuring the shark mini-sub and jellyfish reference Dali's "The Painter's Eye (1942) and the Henu Barque?
  • A strange note,  Jean-Marie Apostolidès over analyzing or not, mentions later in his psychoanalytic study published as "The Metamorphoses of Tintin, or Tintin for Adults" that this shark submarine "allows them to cross a boundary previously restricting human beings and to penetrate into another universe, the one beneath the seas that holds secrets hitherto unknown" which might be something odd to think about in terms of what our Henu Barque is helping us to do in terms of creative visions, and then again, this submarine appears to difficult to work. It's interesting also to think about in view of the way elements of the story echo " The Egyptian book of the dead" even if it turns out that the shark mini-sub might after all just be a shark mini-sub.

1944 a. ii)  The antique shop from Hergé's "The Adventures of Tintin and Red Rackham's Treasure"  appears to reference Salvador Dali's "Painter's Eye" and the “The Death of Socrates” (1787) by Jacques-Louis David.
  • Moebius appeared to reference it in his "Europ Assistance" illustration from 1981

1944 a.iii) See: Hergé's Unicorn shipwreck from "The Adventures of Tintin and Red Rackham's Treasure.

Hergé appeared to take note of what Dali had created in The Painter's Eye and felt obliged to transform elements of this along with the Henu Barque from the temple of Ramesses II.
  • Ron Cobb would transform this image into a derelict ship for the Alien production
  • Mark Rothko would take note of it when he painted Gesthemene which is part of the Treasures of Satan trail



1956 a) See: "The Adventures of Tintin : The Professor Calculus Affair " p38 (Comic book story drawn from 1954-1956) by Hergé


1958 a) See: The Adventures of Tintin : The Red_Sea Sharks, p62 (originally – 1 January 1958) by Hergé

The car ralley scene appears to reference the Henu Barque and also "Rhinocerontic Figure of Illisus of Phidias" (1954) by Salvador Dali.

  • Dali would reference in shortly afterwards in the painting "Dionysus Spitting the Complete Image of Cadaqués on the Tip of the Tongue of a Three Storied Gaudinian Woman"
  • Chris Foss would turn it into a spacecraft for Jodorowsky's Dune project in 1975

1958 b) See: The Martians from the TV series "Quatermass And The Pit"

The Quatermass Martian took on the form of the Henu Barque, as if inheriting it from HG Well's Martian war machines that appeared to reference the same Egyptian device.


1960  "Dionysus Spitting the Complete Image of Cadaqués on the Tip of the Tongue of a Three Storied Gaudinian Woman"

This painting appears to merge elements from a Henu Barque related Tintin illustration illustration by Hergé published in early 1958 and a Cassandre poster illustration "Diversification" from the 1930s.

Around this time, Dali is also revealed to be an Hergé fan and they come to meet.


Frank Herbert's Dune was released. As far as I am concerned, it might as well somehow echo elements of The Adventures of Tintin in terms of the Red Rackham's Treasure story, perhaps the book that precedes it as well. Captain Haddock might as well Paul Atreides who becomes the Kwisatz Hadderach, and Professor Calculus becomes a Mentat, and so in this book there would be in similar ways fragments of the Henu Barque for me to locate, and perhaps Jodorowsky had already found it all.


1966. a) See: "Space Jockey" by Falcon for Thiokol

A curiosity that shows up in a magazine advert.
  1. It also appears to be the first use of the term Space Jockey in conjunction with something that relating to the Henu Barque, before it turns up as a term used in the Alien production.


1968. a) The submarine from Heinz Edelmann's The Yellow Submarine

It appears to reference the Henu Barque in ways that are abstract. Of course it's the second submarine in this list at the time of writing.

1968. b) See:  Roger Vadim's Barbarella's Excessive Machine 

Has qualities of the Henu Barque from the Temple of Ramesses II along with Dali's Portrait of Emilio Terry.
  • It looks as if Francis Bacon would take notice of it for his "Study for a Bullfight" no. 2

1968.c) Kubrick's "2001 A Space Odyssey" owes Tintin something
(to come)


1969 a) Francis Bacon's Study for a Bullfight no. 1

1969 b) Francis Bacon's Study for a Bullfight no. 2 (1969) 

References the Excessive Machine from Barbarella and also a car chase scene from Hergé's "The Adventures of Tintin : The Professor Calculus Affair "
  • Ridley Scott appeared to reference it in a storyboard for the Alien movie production in 1978
  • Richard Corben may have referenced this painting in his Bat Out Of Hell album cover art in 1978 which would be one of the artworks absorbed into Giger's Space Jockey


1974. a) See: Cover from the Pink Panther #18, March 1974

The Pink Panther comic books oddly showed off some use of Egyptian imagery and so this cover uses the Henu Barque.
  • Ideas from this cover appear to have crossed over into Giger's Necronom IV.


1975. a) See: Mordor IV (work 280) (1975)

Giger merged numerous images and ideas together, a number of which are from the Henu Barque trail mainly as Dali's Enigma of William Tell. Perhaps the Fisher Price Family Garage was referenced in this painting as well.

1975. b) See: Untitled work by Roland Topor (1975)

Roland Topor appeared to reference Dali's portrait of Emilio Terry (1934) and Paul Klee's Carnival in the Mountains (1924). Perhaps this illustration oddly shares some sort of resonance with Giger's Mordor IV since they were done the same year, and both would have known Alejandro Jodorowsky that year as if Topor took notice of Giger's work. Was there any sort of further interaction between the two?

1975. c) See: Concept art for Jodorowsky's Dune showing Duke Leto attempting to poison Baron Harkonnen.

A storyboard that appears to reference the Henu Barque and an Ernst Fuchs composition that shows some Henu Barque resonance.
  •  Elements of this have been absorbed into Giger's National Park painting.

1975. d) See Alejandro Jodorowsky's Dune: Guild cargo ship by Chris Foss

Chris Foss appears to reference the car rally illustration in Hergé's "The Adventures of Tintin and the Red Sea Sharks" following the needs of Jodorowsky's Dune production.
  • Chris Foss would have a go basing a concept for the Leviathan ship during Alien's preproduction.
  • Perhaps one might connect this also with Giger's alien derelict ship with the part going up over the centre of the ship becoming like the stretched out arms of the derelict as seen from the side
  • Ideas from this appear to have been absorbed into Despretz' biomechanical skullship design.


1976. a) See: Micronauts Hydra (1976)

This appears to reveal itself to be the Henu Barque image converted into a vehicle,

  •  I think that this was absorbed into Giger's Space Jockey seat.

1976 b) See: Necronom V   (work 304) (1976) by HR Giger 

Amongst numerous other things referenced, the upper left character in this work relates to the Henu Barque and to the general composition of Dali's Soft Construction with Boiled Beans (Premonition of Civil War) which itself appears to reference a Goya illustration with Henu Barque qualities.
Necronom V by H R Giger


1977. a) See: Olympia from #9 of The Eternals, (March 1977) by Jack Kirby

Giger appears to have been exchanging ideas with Jack Kirby and for a while they played around with each others ideas together to make them evolve, and traces of the Henu Barque idea can be seen.
  • Giger would bring some ideas from this illustration into the later stages of the design of his derelict ship for Alien.

Olympia (Double paged spread from #9 of The Eternals, March 1977)

1977. b) In the Alien pre-production art department rooms at Fox studios, perhaps it was as if Dan O'Bannon resurrected the Henu Barque cult, continuing from the Jodorowsky's Dune production, with Chris Foss and Ron Cobb transforming relevant Hergé's Tintin illustrations into both the humans' space ship and the derelict space ship. As if O'Bannon's Snark was the Henu Barque via a Professor Calculus' shark minisub and O'Bannon's Snark would become the name of the shuttle before it was renamed the Narcissus relating to the literature of Joseph Conrad's literature and Greek mythology. 

Appears to references the Shark ninisub with the jelly fish. from Tintin and Red Rackham's Treasure  

1977. b.2) See: Ron Cobb's derelict ship exterior concept for Alien

Appears to references the Unicorn shipwreck

Appears to references the plane wreckage from Tintin In Thibet


1978. a) See: The Space Jockey ( Pilot in cockpit) (work 380)  by HR Giger (1978)

This is where I started hunting for Henu Barques after seeing the Egyptian Book Of The Dead exhibition at the British Museum, and then this design appears to absorb Henu Barque references in other works from a multitude of directions. 

Giger''s Pilot in cockpit

1978. b) See: Ridleygram of The Space Jockey Chair

Perhaps it shows more inspiration from the Henu Barque and also Moebius' Arzach in a simplified form?



1981. a) See: Moebius' illustration for "Europ Assistance" (published 1981) 

This image shows off Moebius' ability to reference a group of different images, all of which show up in the Henu Barque trail. Had he chosen the artworks himself or did someone suggest them to him.

This appears to reference Death of Socrates by David, Painter's Eye by Dali, Painter's Studio by EL Kirchner and the curiosity shop from The Adventures of Tintin and Red Rackham's Treasure which seems to reference the named David and Dali paintings.


1984. a) See: Mr Stay Puft from Ghostbusters (1984)

If the white blobs from the Henu Barque become marshmallows , the rest unfolds.


1986. a) See Cryogenic Containment Unit from Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira (approx 1985-86) 

This appears to reference the Henu Barque. Since this obsession appears to have crossed over to Japan, did anyone else that Otomo knew have a go.?

1986. b) See: Life support machine from Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira (chapter-37)

Appears to reference the Henu Barque and a Giger painting in the Mordor VII series which belongs more or less to another trail that might connect with Treasures of Satan.
  • This one appears to have been referenced in Sylvain Despret'z biomechanical skullship design



1996s. a) See: Earlier drawing of the alien suit for Independence Day (1996)

Patrick Tatopoulos could well have found himself inspired by the pages of Tintin with the Unicorn shipwreck illustration and somehow this absorbed ideas from Egyptian imagery and Dali's The Painter's Eye which connect with the Tintin illustration.

He could be another person who find these connections one way or another turning up in his work without realising for all I know.

1996. b) Borg Sphere black and white concept for Star Trek: First Contact (January1996) by John Eaves,

This may loosely incorporates elements from Piranesi's Carceri Series, Plate XIV (1745),  Piranesi's art is popular, this would be a good choice and it just so happens to fall in this trail.
  • It appears to have found its way into the spherical Skullship design by Sylvain Despretz

1996. c) Borg Sphere colour concept for Star Trek: First Contact (January1996) by John Eaves,

Add caption


1997. a) See: The design of the Mondoshawan from "The Fifth Element" (1997) 

Why this should be turned into the Henu Barque?

Perhaps it's because it evolved in a certain way and someone guiding in a certain direction, having elements tweaked to be this thing made sense because a fascination for this thing would have been known about by someone who wanted to have some fun, especially as these characters comes walking into an ancient Egyptian tomb.

Of course Luc Besson had Moebius working on some ideas for the film, so Henu Barquers have been within Besson's reach, but it ought not even have required that, just an interest in ancient Egyptian tomb reliefs and the oddities to be found there and the Papyrus of Ani.

Another thing to note is that the concept art that this was based upon, while it might seem a little like the character Obelix with his striped trousers from the Asterix The Gaul comic books, it shows signs of referencing Max Ernst's Celebes which is another painting that is in my Henu Barque trail

Meanwhile the artist behind the concept art for this creature suit worked on the Egyptian architecture for the movie.
  • For some insane reason, as it were some sort of ghost, it turns up inverted in Despretz's biomechanical Skullship design

1997. b) See: Sylvain Despretz's Skullship concept art for the unmade Superman Lives (1997)

This appears to absorb elements of works by Giger, warped Dali skulls, a Chris Foss Guild Merchant ship and some of Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira illustrations. Sylvain would have been directed by people what to draw and this also oddly results in the inverted phantom of a Mondoshawan from The Fifth Element absorbed into the structure, all of which are part of the Henu Barque trail.

I don't want to claim that there should be some big mystery about this one, but there are so many pieces of art in this trail that have one connection or another and perhaps they seem to bind together well, and you can look at who should be the artists to talk about at the time for this project as if all their creations were on the tips of people's tongues, and naturally they got in there and perhaps similarities between forms were easy to recognise in the creative minds.

However, as far as I can see this carries the Henu Barque resonance still. I'd think it was fun to have someone involved in the scenario who had great knowledge about Henu Barques and influenced decisions, but it's not necessary.

Sylvain Despretz' Skullship (fuller image)

1997. c) Sylvain Despretz's Skullship concept art for the unmade Superman Lives (1997). 

Appears to references this Borg sphere concept art by John Eaves that would have been something to talk about at that time and to want to play around with.

Sylvain Despretz' Skullship


1999. a) "Jodorowsky vu par Moebius" by Moebius (1999) 

Jodorowsky must have been the Henu Barque all the along!

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