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Royal lacquer painting sold for $265,000

Update: June, 28/2018 - 07:00
Pricy picture: Làng Trung Du Bắc Bộ (A Northern Midland Village), lacquer, was sold for 226,900 euros (US$265,000) in France on June 25. Photos thethaovanhoa.vn
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI A co-worked lacquer painting by noted artists Hoàng Tích Chù (1912-2003) and Nguyễn Tiến Chung (1914-1978) was sold for 226,900 euros (US$265,000).

The auction was held by the Aguttes auction house in France on June 25.

The painting, titled “Làng Trung Du Bắc Bộ (A Northern Midland Village)”, was made using natural material such as wood, lacquer tree’s resin, gilded gold, sand and eggshells.

Lovely: “Người Mẹ Trẻ" (Young Mother, oil-on-canvas, 92x73cm, 1984) by Lê Thị Lựu.

“Tiny pieces of gold create a mysterious light of the sun rays falling from afar on the hidden mountains in the painting,” said researcher Ngô Kim Khôi. “The light reflects on rows of areca palm trees, which shine on the background of reddish and dark brown-coloured lacquer. Egg shells are mashed and gilded on a horse and small pig, while some flowers decorate the painting.”

“When we touch the painting, we realise it’s a special technique. The painting is not totally smooth; some small details are carved on the surface of the areca palm trunk and their leaves like bas-relief,” Khôi adds.

The painting was proposed to be sold at 50,000-80,000 euros.

Painter Nguyễn Tiến Chung (1914-1978).

The final price stunned Khôi himself, who was invited to examine the work and had estimated the price at a maximum of 160,000 euros.

The painting belonged to King Bảo Đại (who ruled from 1925 to 1945). Before him, it was owned by Lê Thanh Cảnh (1893-?), an official under the king’s reign. Cảnh’s wife was one of the king’s relatives. Prior to Cảnh, the painting was owned by a philosophy teacher at Minh Đức College in Sài Gòn (now HCM City).

Khôi said the painting’s history was even more valuable than its art value. He assumed that if the painting, which measures 100.5x60.5cm, continued to be auctioned two or three times more, it would surpass $1 million.

The two painters studied the same 11th course of the Indochina Fine Arts College.

Cross-cultural: “Đức Mẹ" (Madonna, silk, 57x43cm, 1935)by Lê Phổ.

According to Khôi, Hoàng Tích Chù joined a painting class guided by painter Nguyễn Nam Sơn in 1929 to prepare for the entrance exam to the college. But due to hardships, he was unable to join the college until 1936. Hence, he was older than his classmates.

In 1941, Chù graduated from the college with the second-highest score after painter Nguyễn Văn Tỵ.

Chù opened a workshop on Hàng Khoai street in the Old Quarter of Hà Nội and started making lacquer paintings to meet the orders of the Cooperative of Indochina Artists, run by painters Joseph Inguimberty and Trần Văn Cẩn.

His style was influenced much by folk art, which earned him the nick name “master of lyrical lacquer painting”.

Painter Hoàng Tích Chù (1912-2003).

Chung possessed painting talent from a young age. He was successful in paintings of the countryside, natural landscapes, quiet pagodas and urban romantic ladies, usually with typical Eastern features.

Chung is famous for silk paintings. Whenever the two painters cooperated, they created stunning art works, which have been considered rare in Việt Nam’s fine arts history.

“Làng Trung Du Bắc Bộ” was made in the golden time of Vietnamese lacquer. During that period, the two painters also co-worked on other artworks, including “Phong Cảnh Trung Du" (Midland Region, 100x150cm, 1942) and “Giáng Sinh" (Christmas, 224x146cm, 1942-1943).

At the auction on June 25, a silk painting by artist Lê Phổ, “Đức Mẹ" (Madonna, 57x43cm, 1935), was sold for 156,000 euros.

Another silk painting by him, “Tắm" (Bathing, 37x36.5cm, 1935), was sold for 144,300 euros.

Bucolic: “Đồng Lúa" (Paddy Field, oil-on-canvas, 73x100cm, 1928) by Joseph Inguimberty.

“Đồng Lúa" (Paddy Field, oil-on-canvas, 73x100cm, 1928) by Joseph Inguimberty was sold for 97,500 euros.

“Người Mẹ Trẻ" (Young Mother, oil-on-canvas, 92x73cm, 1984) by Lê Thị Lựu was sold for 143,000 euros.

A silk painting by Mai Trung Thứ, “Mẹ và Con" (Mother and Child, 44x52cm, 1979), was sold for 104,000 euros. VNS

 

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