Vietnamese painting fetches $1 million at French auction

By Long Nguyen   June 12, 2021 | 03:46 pm PT
'Thac Bo' (Landscapes with Junks), a lacquer painting by Pham Hau, was sold for €833,000 ($1 million) by French auction house Aguttes.

It went under the hammer at the 'Asian Painters, Major Works' auction, and had been expected to fetch only around €250,000.

Thac Bo, comprising four panels and finished in 1943, represents a Vietnamese lakescape, the auctioneer said.

"The luxuriant vegetation, made of banana leaves, apple blossoms and bamboo, underlines the tropical nature of the place. Pham Hau sublimates the bay thanks to a masterly work of blue and gold reflections, punctuated by the presence of junks and rocks."

Thac Bo (Landscapes with Junks) by Pham Hau. Photo courtesy of Aguttes.

'Thac Bo' (Landscapes with Junks) by Pham Hau. Photo courtesy of Aguttes.

The auction, taking place on June 7, also featured many other works by Vietnamese artists, including Le Pho, Mai Trung Thu and Vu Cao Dam.

Hau (1903 - 1995) created a range of famous works. He demonstrated a profound grasp of both eastern and western artistic principles and philosophies through his paintings, while his poetic landscape compositions offer us a glimpse into the rich and complex Vietnamese culture.

In 2019, his lacquer painting 'Cuu Ngu Quan Hoi' (Nine Carps In The Water) fetched a record price of over US$1.1 million at a Sotheby’s Hong Kong auction.

Earlier this year, his 'Canh Ngoi Chua O Mien Bac Viet Nam' (View of a Famous Old Pagoda Landscape in North Vietnam) went for HKD8.04 million ($1.03 million) at the same auction house.

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