Le Pho painting sells for over $1.1 mln in Hong Kong

By Dang Khoa   May 25, 2021 | 01:26 am PT
“Young Lady Tying Her Scarf” by Le Pho fetched the highest bids of four local masterpieces auctioned at Christie's Hong Kong on Monday.

"Jeune femme attachant son foulard" (Young Lady Tying Her Scarf) by Pho (1907-2001) fetched HKD8.65 million (over $1.1 million), the highest bid of the four local artworks at the "20th and 21st Century Art Evening Sale".

The masterpiece, created in 1938, is a 59.5 x 48.5 centimeter ink and gouache work on silk with Pho's signature in the upper right corner.

Young Lady Tying Her Scarf by Le Pho. Photo courtesy of Christies Hong Kong auction house.

"Jeune femme attachant son foulard" (Young Lady Tying Her Scarf) by Le Pho. Photo courtesy of Christie's.

The auction house notes on its website that the painting’s subject has been a driving force in Le Pho's life and calls it a "gift of an endless source of inspiration" in his oeuvre.

"The fine features of the lady’s diaphanous face, her headdress, her black ao dai (a rare color for such a garment), the white veil, the abundant vegetation, all set in a mountainous landscape of Tonkin, are expressed here with real originality."

The "20th and 21st Century Art Evening Sale" session also included works by two other Vietnamese artists-- Mai Trung Thu and Nguyen Phan Chanh. Four paintings by the three Vietnamese artists earned a total HKD21.4 million (over $2.7 million).

Pho’s "Le Bol Bleu" (The Blue Bowl), a 75 x 44.5 centimeter ink and gouache on silk painting created in 1930, was sold for HKD2.75 million.

Two other ink and gouache on silk paintings, "La Joconde" (Mona Lisa) by Thu (1906-1980) and "Les Teinturières" (Dyers at Work) by Chanh (1892-1984), respectively earned HKD5.63 million and HKD4.38 million.

Pho (1907-2001) was a prominent painter who carved out a successful career in France. In his long career he created thousands of works.

He was the first Vietnamese artist to breach the million-dollar mark. His first painting to fetch over $1 million was ‘Family Life’ at Sotheby's Hong Kong auction house in April 2017.

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