Tuesday, 23/10/2018 16:39

Painting by Vietnamese artist sets record at auction

The painting of a woman holding a fan by painter Nguyen Nam Son. — Photos
Viet Nam News

HA NOI — A silk painting featuring a woman holding a paper fan by noted painter Nguyen Nam Son, co-founder of the Indochine Fine Arts college, shocked experts after being sold for 440,000 euro (US$504,300) at an auction sale at Aguttes in Paris on October 22.

This is the highest price paid for a work by the painter in a public sale.

Titled Tonkinoise a l’eventail (A Northern Woman and a Fan), ink and watercolour on silk, 61.5cm x 43cm, the painting was made between 1935-1936. Experts predicted the work to go for 50,000-80,000 euro.

“The most important feature in the painting is the background, which was drawn as embroidered silk,” said researcher Ngo Kim Khoi, a grandson of the late painter. “This style can be seen in other silk paintings by Nam Son, proving his expertise when he taught art decoratif at the college.”

He also commented that the price surpassed expectations of participants at the sale and was a positive sign for Vietnamese paintings in the international market.

The painting was in its original frame, created by the Tam Tho Boi Tranh workshop, run by Bui Ngoc Luu on 58 Rue Marechal Petain in Ha Noi.

The workshop was famous for framing paintings using traditional techniques.

Painter Nam Son used to get his paintings framed here and sent his oldest daughter Nguyen Thi Kim Thoa to the workshop to learn the techniques.

Fine arts researcher Ngo Kim Khoi (first right) poses for a photo with other participants at the auction sale. — Photo

The painting used to belong to Fernand Maller, a French military official, who was stationed in Ha Noi between January 1936 and April 1938.

The painting was then brought to France and has since been preserved by the official’s family.

At the same auction, as many as 141 items were sold, 28 of which were works by Vietnamese painters or foreign painters on Viet Nam.

Paintings sold included works by Tran Van Can (1910-1994), Nguyen Tien Chung (1914-1976), Vu Cao Dam (1908-2000), Le Pho (1907-2001), Mai Trung Thu (1906-1980), Alix Ayme (1894-1989) and Tran Van Tho (1917).

Works by French painters who lived in Viet Nam included those by Jean Louis Paguenaud (1876-1952), Henri Mege (1904-1984) and Maurice Menardeau (1897-1977).

On March 26, another silk painting featuring a northern woman by Nam Son was also sold at Aguttes for 205,000 euro.

At the same sale, a painting by Tran Van Can was sold for 230,000 euro, which is the highest price paid for a piece by Tran Van Can so far.  — VNS

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