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More Vietnamese paintings change hands at Aguttes auction
  • | VOV | May 26, 2024 12:00 PM
Several unique artworks by well-known Vietnamese painters Vu Cao Dam and Thang Tran Phenh have been sold at high prices at an auction sale organised by Aguttes.

Accordingly, the Asian Painters Auction- Modern Vietnamese Art saw the piece Motherhood by Vietnamese painter Vu Cao Dam sold for EUR528,560.

The painter (1908 – 2000) was a prominent artist and sculptor of his time. Graduating from the Indochina College of Fine Arts in 1931, he was part of the Vietnamese ‘quartet painters in Europe’, alongside Le Pho, Mai Trung Thu, and Le Thi Luu.


Motherhood by Vietnamese painter Vu Cao Dam

Motherhood was created in 1944. Aguttes shared that in this maternity, pastel tones bring softness and tranquility whilst reinforcing a naturalness and soothing underlined by the vegetal décor, in which the scene is set.

“This work, produced more than 10 years after the painter’s arrival in France, expresses a talent in full maturity. It is rich in a perfect mastery of the precepts received by the young artist at the fine arts school in Hanoi, at the École du Louvre and through visits to museums,” it noted.

According to Aguttes, with this perfectly balanced composition and delicate treatment, Vu Cao Dam appears at the peak of his art.

Meanwhile, two works by Vietnamese painter Thang Tran Phenh - The village chief reading books to the villagers and The village chief on horseback asking for directions - were sold at the price of EUR452,000 each.


The work The village chief reading books to the villagers is sold for EUR452,000

On its website, Aguttes shared that a family who had lived in Indochina from the early 1890s to the early 1960s had entrusted Aguttes with the two pieces by the Vietnamese painter, both of which are previously unseen on the art market.

“Thang Tran Phenh was living in the Hanoi region when these two inks on silk were produced, meaning they probably acquired them during one of the exhibitions organised by the School of Fine Arts as early as 1929, or at one of the fairs in which the students were actively participating at the time,” said Aguttes.

Thang Tran Phenh (1895 – 1972) was also known as Tran Van Binh. He was one of the most well-known artists of the Vietnamese fine art village of the late 19th and early 20th centuries along with painters Le Huy Mien and Nam Son.


The village chief on horseback asking for directions artwork is painted by Thang Tran Phenh

From an early age, he had an aptitude for art and was awarded the fine art prize by the Tien Duc Enlightenment Association in 1923.

In 1926, at the same age as famous fellow artists like To Ngoc Van and Vu Cao Dam, he was accepted into its second batch by the Indochina Fine Arts College.

Many of his works, including The Card Game and The Wizard, were taken to France and Italy in the 1930s to be displayed at the Paris and Rome Colonial Exhibitions.

The auction saw other paintings by Vietnamese painters sold for high prices. Of them, the work The Rose by Le Pho changed hands at a price of EUR452,000.

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