Several Vietnamese paintings, most of which depict Vietnam’s traditional landscapes, have made an appearance and fetched thousands of dollars through auctions during an art week in France.
The Asian Spring art week, or Printemps Asiatique, was held from June 6 to 17 in Paris with the participation of 24 exhibiting centers for Asian arts, 16 auction houses, and five museums.
The Asian Spring Paris association organized the art event in an effort to create a bond among museums, auction bidders, businessmen and collectors of Asian art, while also enabling French art lovers and collectors to be exposed to the most beautiful Asian art pieces, showcasing the beauty of the culture and its artwork.
Regarding the Vietnamese paintings during the art week, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper noticed several outstanding ones at Drouot Paris Auction Center.
On June 11, the Aguttes auction house brought to stage an oil painting of Luong Xuan Nhi, a Vietnamese art teacher and painter who passed away in 2006.
Nhi’s painting Village du Haut Tonkin, literally meaning 'Village of the North,' 274 x 327 centimeters, was completed in March 1939.
The painting was printed in black and white in the artist’s namesake book published by the My Thuat publishing house in 2003.
In this book, the painting appeared with the name 'San nuoi ga vit,' or 'Yard to raise chickens and ducks.'
According to Nhi’s son Luong Xuan Trinh, in his family photo album there is still a photo of his father completing this painting.
In 1990, at an auction in Toulouse, France, Nhi’s painting was acquired by a private collector.
Estimated to be worth 150,000-200,000 euro (US$171,000-228,000) this year, the painting was bought by a new art collector for 246,040 euro ($280,226) after tax.
This is a large-size painting and according to the artist’s family, they still keep a painting of a similar size depicting the Hung Kings Temple in Hanoi.
|Mai Trung Thu’s Painting Auprès du grand-père|
At the same auction, a silk painting named Auprès du grand-père, translated as 'With grandfather,' by Mai Trung Thu drew a lot of attention.
Priced at 100,000-120,000 euro ($114,000-137,000), the painting was acquired at 235,832 euro ($269,000).
The 90.5 x 63.5 centimeter painting was completed in 1974 and is being presented in the original frame.
The painting is going to be shown at Macon Museum (Musée de Macon) in November 2020 during a special exhibition dedicated to Mai Trung Thu only.
|Le Van De’s painting Enfants jouant au jardin|
Another valuable Vietnamese painting auctioned at Drouot Paris Auction Center was presented by Boisgirard-Antonini Auction House on June 14.
It is Le Van De’s painting named Enfants jouant au jardin, literally meaning 'Children playing in the garden,' with the size of 86 x 105 centimeters, and was completed in 1942.
Valued at 80,000-120,000 euro ($91,000-$137,000), Enfants jouant au jardin was sold at 122,360 euro ($139,000) after tax.
According to many, this is a low price for De’s paintings, considering that he graduated as valedictorian of the first class of Indochina Art University and was a painter who founded Gia Dinh Art University.
The new owner of the painting will bring it back to its original country after several years being apart.
Enfants jouant au jardin can be considered typical of De's paintings.
|Pham Hau’s silk painting Femmes musiciennes|
Also on June 14, another Vietnamese painting of Pham Hau, which was completed in 1933, was introduced by the Asium auction house.
Projected to fetch 15,000-20,000 euro ($17,000-23,000), Femmes Musiciennes' highest bid reached 210,000 euro ($239,000) after tax.
During the same auction, another of Pham Hau’s rare artwork was introduced – a lacquer cabinet decorated with northern Vietnamese scenery.
Inside of the cabinet are nine compartments.
Priced at 15,000-20,000 euro ($17,000-23,000), this cabinet was finally sold for 225,000 euro after tax, which was a record high of this year's Asium auction house.
|Pham Hau’s lacquer cabinet decorated with scenery resembling northern Vietnam|