A success for the first Vietnamese sale at Bonhams Cornette de Saint Cyr in Paris
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A success for the first Vietnamese sale at Bonhams Cornette de Saint Cyr in Paris
Attributed to Hoang Tich Chu, View of the Red River Delta, 1985. Lacquer and gold leaf on wooden panel 70 x 100 cm. Sold for €31,875.

PARIS.- Bonhams Cornette de Saint Cyr held its first successful sale in Paris dedicated to Vietnamese Modernity under the direction of specialist Joan Yip (Wednesday 14 December). The 67-lot sale achieved a total of €413,188 with more than 75% of lots sold, many of them well above their estimates.

A blend of Vietnamese and French traditions, the paintings in this sale explored not only the golden age of Vietnamese art (1930-1945) but also the pre-war and post-war period. Trained mostly at the prestigious Indochina School of Fine Arts in Hanoi (EBAI), the artists mastered European techniques and media - notably oil painting - and transposed brushwork, life drawing, plein air painting and a particular use of colour with their own artistic tradition, creating a Vietnamese Modernity.

A 1960 oil on silk painting entitled Peonies and Delphiniums by Le Pho secured the highest bid of the day at €120,075. Estimate: €50,000-70,000

Inspired by the authentic rural world, Nguyen Phan Chanh favours earthy colours (brown, black, ochre) in his works, which he enhances with white. Return to the Village is a 1955 work that accurately depicts the return of soldiers to their villages after the victory of North Vietnam in 1954. Never seen before on the market and coming from the collection of Hungarian photographer Miklós Rév, this painting was sold for €40,695 (Estimate: €30,000 - 50,000).

From the collection of a European diplomat posted in Vietnam in the 1980s who bought it directly from the artist in November 1986, View of the Red River Delta attributed to Hoang Tich Chu doubled its estimate by reaching the price of €31,875 (Estimate: €15,000-20,000). The artist uses a rich palette of colours here, particularly blue and blue-green which replace the traditional red, highlighted with gold leaf and eggshells.

Works by French artists were also successful: Gaston Roullet's View of Tourane in Vietnam, 1886 quadrupled its low estimate with a price of €16,675. (Estimate: €4,000-6,000) and Henri Mège's Retour de pêche dans la lagune achieved €15,300 (estimate: €9,000-12,000).

Joan Yip, Bonhams Cornette de Saint Cyr Specialist in Indian, Himalayan and South East Asian Art, said: "I am very pleased by the success of the sale which demonstrated a strong appetite among both Vietnamese and International collectors for the art of this pivotal period in the history in Vietnamese painting. Our next sale will take place in the spring.”

Highlights of the sale included:

·Family with Dove by Pham Van Don (1917-2000) sold for €35,655 (Estimate: €3,500 - 5,500. From the Miklós Rév Collection, this painting was bought in Vietnam in 1959-1960 and has remained in the same collection ever since.

·Huynh Phuong Dong (1925-2015) Temple of Long Ong Ba Chieu sold for €14,025. Estimate: €4,000-6,000

·Do Xuan Doan (b. 1937) Neighbourhood Night scene sold for €10,200. Estimate: €3,000-5,000

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