Thursday , May 26 2022

Mai Trung Thu painting fetches $1.57 mln at Hong Kong auction


‘Femme au Chapeau Conique le Long de la Rivière’ by Mai Trung Thu has fetched the second highest ever price for a Vietnamese painting at $1.57 million.

‘Femme au Chapeau Conique le Long de la Rivière’ (Young Woman With A Conical Hat By The River) was sold at the ‘Mapping Modernity’ auction held by Sotheby’s Hong Kong on Dec. 14.

Sotheby’s said it is a unique work. “The tranquility of the scene induced by the color harmony and the sweet expression of the woman is counterbalanced by the tension of the hat’s strap she pinches as the breeze animates the flap of the tunic”.

Through this work, Mai Trung Thu showcases his palette skills and brushstroke dexterity, achieving a highly seductive impression of daily life in the central town of Hue, which is depicted in the painting. It is one among a few of Thu’s oil on canvas paintings. The painter instead spent his life working on silk.

Femme au Chapeau Conique le Long de la Rivière’ (Young Woman With A Conical Hat By The River) by Mai Trung Thu. Photo courtesy of Sothebys

‘Femme au Chapeau Conique le Long de la Rivière’ (Young Woman With A Conical Hat By The River) by Mai Trung Thu. Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s

In April, Thu’s ‘Portrait of Mademoiselle Phuong’ was sold for more than $3.1 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong to become one of the priciest Vietnamese artworks. In November, his “Lady Playing A Nguyet Cam” painting fetched $1 million at Bonhams auction.

Thu (1906-1980) was named along with Vu Cao Dam, Le Thi Luu and Le Pho as the most prominent artists of the golden age of Vietnamese modern art.

Thu was a famous modern painter in the early years of the 20th century. He lived and worked most of his life in France.

The ‘Mapping Modernity’ auction also featured three other paintings of Thu, including “Nature Morte” (Still Life), “Jeune Femme Couchée (Young Woman Lying Down), and “Mélodie” (Melodies).

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