Beautiful Vietnam
Vietnamese painting sold for high price at Sotheby’s art auction
  • | VOV | June 18, 2024 08:00 AM
The masterpiece “Người hát dân ca” (Les Chanteuses de Campagne) created by renowned Vietnamese painter Nguyen Phan Chanh fetched US$1.09 million in Paris, France, when it recently went on sale as part of Arts d'Asie: Sotheby's Auction.



“Người hát dân ca” (Les Chanteuses de Campagne) created by renowned painter Nguyen Phan Chanh

The oil-on-canvas piece measuring 90.5 x 102.5cm was completed in 1930 when Chanh graduated from the first class of the Indochina Fine Arts School in Hanoi.

It portrays two women of modest means sharing a candid moment rooted in earthy tones. This composition, reflecting the painter’s focus on authentic action through aesthetic novelty, offers viewers a poignant glimpse into everyday life during the early 20th-century in Vietnam, according to Sotheby’s.

The sale marks the second time that a painting by Chanh has surpassed US$1 million at auction. In late 2020, his artwork “Những cô thợ may” (Les Couturières) sold for US$1.39 million at Christie's.

Les Chanteuses de Campagne has since become one of the top 20 most valuable Vietnamese artworks ever sold, alongside paintings by other renowned Vietnamese masters such as Le Pho, Mai Trung Thu, Le Quoc Loc, Pham Hau, To Ngoc Van, and Vu Cao Dam.

Nguyen Phan Chanh was born in 1892 in the central province of Ha Tinh. He began his study in Hue and then moved to study in Hanoi in 1925 as part of the first cohort of students at the newly established École des Beaux-Arts de l’Indochine, alongside other notable local painters such as Mai Trung Thu and Le Pho.

Moving ahead to 1929, his work was displayed at the Salon de l'art colonial exhibition in Paris, marking an important milestone in his career.

In total, he created over 170 pieces, with some being auctioned at high prices. At Christie’s auction in 2020, his piece “Những cô thợ may” (Les Couturières) was valued at US$1.39 million.

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