10 paintings by exiled Vietnamese king to be auctioned in France

By Phuong Linh   April 5, 2024 | 03:21 pm PT
“The Pasture” is expected to be the most highly valued among the 10 paintings by King Ham Nghi set for auction in France on Friday.

"The Pasture," crafted by the King in 1909, depicts buffaloes and horses grazing on lush green grass.
Poised to fetch between 10,000 - 15,000 euros (US$10,829-$16,243), the artwork will be featured among the 10 pieces set for bidding during the "Indochine - Chapitre 17" (Indochina - Chapter 17) session, organized by the Lynda Trouvé auction house.
Lynda Trouvé auctioned 19 pieces of the King’s artwork at the Drouot Hotel in Paris in September last year, fetching a total of 330,000 euros, with the highest-priced painting reaching 38,000 euros.

Titles - 1

His painting "The Path in Springtime" has an estimated value of 1,500 - 2,000 euros.
Started pursuing art studies in a workshop led by the renowned artist Maurius Reynard during his time in France, King Ham Nghi expressed in a Jan. 1897 letter to Gondrecourt, an admirer of his, as cited on the Asian Art Museum in Nice’s website: "These works form part of my life: I see in my pictures the vicissitudes of my sad thoughts, my joy and a thousand nuances .... and they are a consolation."
The Museum highlighted that Ham Nghi’s paintings are distinguished by soft hues of purple, violet, lavender, gray, blue, and gold.

Titles - 2

"Twilight on the Cliffs of Marseille," finished by the King in 1910, carries an estimated auction price of 1,500 - 3,000 euros.

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"Silhouette in the Forest" is anticipated to fetch between 2,000 - 4,000 euros.
The painting captures figures that are indistinct and diminutive amidst the forest backdrop, a possible reflection of the solitude the King experienced during his exile.

Titles - 3

"Apple Trees in Bloom. Alley of Poplars" is appraised at 1,500 - 3,000 euros.
It features two apple trees in full bloom against a backdrop of a sky dotted with clouds, evoking a sense of expansive space.

Titles - 9

His oil painting "Promenade on the Banks of the Allier" is expected to attract bids ranging from 3,000 - 5,000 euros.

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The auction house has placed "At the Edge of the Wood" with an estimate of 1,500 - 3,000 euros.
This painting showcases the King’s signature and the year it was made, 1910, on its lower right-hand corner.

Titles - 6

"The Old Town in the Late Afternoon" has been given an estimated value of 2,000 - 4,000 euros.

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"Countryside Near Algiers," crafted in 1900 by the King, is currently valued at 3,000 - 5,000 euros.

Titles - 7

"The Great Oak Tree" is poised to command between 2,000 - 4,000 euros.
Ham Nghi, born in 1871, was the eighth monarch among the 13 rulers of the Nguyen dynasty in Hue, Annam, reigning from 1802 to 1945. He ascended to the throne in 1884 at the tender age of 13, only to be dethroned after a brief year-long reign.
In 1888, The French exiled him to Algeria, then a French colony. Subsequently, he was permitted to leave Algeria to visit other countries, including France, albeit under French governmental oversight.
While in France, he delved into sculpture as well.
He succumbed to cancer in 1944.

Photos courtesy of Lynda Trouvé

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