Genevieve de Brabant
'Genoveva van Brabant' (Kuifje #49, 1947).

Tonet Timmermans was a Belgian illustrator and painter. She was the first woman to create comics for the legendary Belgian comic magazine Tintin.  Her own work was the biographical comic 'Geneviève de Brabant' (1947-1948), while she also illustrated comics by her famous brother Gommaar Timmermans, better known as Got). After 1951 she retired from making comics and devoted her life to painting. 

Early life and career
Antoinette Timmermans, nicknamed Tonet,  was born in 1926 in Lier, near Antwerp, as the daughter of writer Felix Timmermans and sister of future comic artist Gommaar Timmermans. In adulthood she became a painter, illustrator and comic artist. She studied under painter Joris Minne and thanks to her father's circle of friends also got to know painter and graphic artist Staf De Bruyne very well. The Second World War prevented her from continuing her studies, but she was able to take more lessons under tutorship of Oscar van Rompay. Along with Elisabeth Ivanowsky, Hélène van Coppenolle and Hélène van Raemdonck, Timmermans was one of several illustrators to liven up the pages of her father's children's stories, 'Vertelsels voor Janneke en Mieke' (Snoeck Ducaju en Zoon, Gent, 1943), namely the story 'De Dag der Dieren'. 

Timmermans was the first female author to work for the comic magazine Tintin. Timmermans made several cover illustrations as well as a comics biography, 'Geneviève de Brabant', about Belgian folkloric heroine and Catholic saint Genevieve de Brabant. The story appeared between 1947 and 1948 in both the Flemish and Walloon editions of Tintin. Timmermans also illustrated comics by her brother, namely 'Tuurken Den Dol bij de Turken' (1950) and 'Hoe Piet Pladijs de Geheimzinnige Zee van Nova Zembla ontdekte' (1950), which appeared in the Flemish version of Tintin, Kuifje.

Ons Volkske
For the Flemish comic magazine Ons Volkske, Tonet Timmermans illustrated Gommaar Timmermans' comics 'Jan Zevenslag' (1950), 'Kroes' (1950), 'De Opperdief' (1950), 'Malle Hans' (1950) and 'Scheve Nante' (1951). 

Tonet Timmermans
Tonet in an artist presentation in Kuifje #39, 1947.

Later life and death
Tonet married Engelbird Meyer, a South African psychiatrist and moved to his home country for eight years. Meyer died at an early age, prompting her to move back to Europe. She spent a few years in London, before moving in with her sister Lia who lived in Oostende. Lia passed away on 15 June 2002. Tonet has spent the majority of her life making paintings depicting flowers, portraits and landscapes in South Africa and Belgian cities like Lier and Oostende. She additionally designed plates, puppets, glasswork, clothing and furniture. Timmermans is often categorized as a so-called naïve painter and claimed that she "draws what she knows, rather than what she sees." Thanks to her father's fame she has been subject of several exhibitions in Flanders, both alone as well as in combination with her brother Gommaar's artwork. In 2020 she passed away in a rest home in Assebroek at age 94. 

Cover by Tonet Timmermans
Cover illustration for Tintin magazine, 10 July 1947.

Series and books by Tonet Timmermans you can order today:


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