Vietnamese artworks to go under the hammer in France

September, 26/2022 - 07:50
The auction's highlight is Les Rapides de Cho Bo, a six-panel lacquer screen with gold highlights, painted in 1942 by Lê Quốc Lộc. The artwork is estimated to fetch €400,000 ($396,000), the highest price of the lot.
'Les Rapides de Cho Bo' by Lê Quốc Lộc is estimated to fetch 400,000 euros (US$396,000), the highest price of the lot. Photos courtesy of Aguttes

HÀ NỘI French auction house Aguttes will on October 3 put up for sale artworks by acclaimed Vietnamese artists graduating from the Indochina School of Fine Arts in the 1930's and 40's.

Aguttes' 35th auction, dedicated to 'Painters and Arts from Việt Nam', will feature a rare lacquer by Lê Quốc Lộc (1918-87) and paintings by Mai Trung Thứ (1906-80), Lê Phổ (1907-2001) and Vũ Cao Đàm (1908-2000), in addition to a selection of sculptures, in lacquered wood and metal, and Huế blue porcelains. The total number of auctioned artworks is 81.

The auction's highlight is "Les Rapides de Cho Bo", a six-panel lacquer screen with gold highlights, painted in 1942 by QuốcLộc. The artwork is estimated to fetch 400,000 euros (US$396,000), the highest price of the lot.

"With great mastery, the artist arranges several planes and gives relief and depth to the magnificent landscape that takes shape before our eyes… All the lines in this work are treated with virtuosity and precision, bringing the artist to the height of his mastery. Quốc Lộc offers through this landscape a unique representation where the symbiosis between human nature and vegetation is beautifully harmonious," Aguttes said about the artwork.

Particularly, the catalogue of this auction will include three old Vietnamese statuettes of Buddha dated back to the 17th and 19th centuries.

A statuette of Avalokitesvara Guanyin is lacquered and gilded in wood.

The first is a statuette of Avalokitesvara Guanyin lacquered and gilded in wood with a beautiful patina, standing on a pedestal, hands joined in prayer, dressed in a robe with wide folds belted at the waist, eyes closed in meditation.

Two other statuettes of Buddha will be auctioned at Aguttes on October 3.

The second is a statuette of Buddha in lacquered wood with a beautiful patina, wearing a robe belted at the waist, eyes closed in meditation.

The last is a large statuette of Buddha in lacquered wood, standing on a lotiform base, left hand holding the fruit of the myrobalan tree, right arm falling along the body, eyes also closed in meditation.

Their prices are predicted to range from 1,000-3,000 euros ($998-2994).

Several ceramic and porcelain antiquities that were used during the reign of King Thiệu Trị (1841-1847) and worked by famous Vietnamese fine artists will also be up for auction at Aguttes this October.

According to The Value, a Hong Kong-based art media that takes a global view of the art and auction market, Vietnamese paintings, sculptures and antiquities are attracting increasing interest from international collectors and frequently appearing in international auctions.

For example, the magnificent silk En Plein Air (circa 1940-45) by Mai Trung Thứ fetched 794,720 euros at Aguttes on June 2.

Also in June, a bowl of jade used by King Tự Đức (1829-1883) was sold for 845,000 euros by Paris-based auction house Drouot.

In October 2021, a Nguyễn dynasty mandarin hat was sold for 600,000 euros ($593,000) in an auction session hosted by Balclis (Spain). At the same session, a Nguyễn dynasty costume was sold for 35,000 euros ($34,500).

Aguttes is the fourth largest French auction house, founded in 1974 by Claude Aguttes. The French auction house has organised many sessions dedicated to Vietnamese artists. VNS

E-paper