Artist Mai Trung Thu poses in front of this large scene divided into three parts (Photo courtesy of Vietnam Fine Arts Magazine)
Aguttes is putting 37 lots up for auction, including works by many Asian artists and European artists focusing on Asian countries and people.
Twenty-six works in this auction are by Vietnamese artists.
The highlight of the auction is a wonderful painting by Mai Trung Thu (1906-1980). This painting has a very good provenance – from a private collection in France. It was purchased from artist Thu himself and has been well preserved, according to Bui Hoang Anh, a member of the Vietnam Fine Arts Association and Editor-in-Chief of Vietnam Fine Arts Magazine.
Joy II, silk, 35cm by 95cm was composed by artist Thu in 1963 and was the second painting in a series of three works. There are recorded images of the artist sitting next to these three paintings.
Afterwards, he split them into three separate paintings. The third part of Joy III was sold in 2014. Only the location of the middle painting is currently unknown. Aguttes is actively looking for the rest of this series so that they can assemble all three paintings of the original version.
"With a starting price of 100,000 – 150,000 Euros (114,000 - 170,000 USD), it is not known how much the bid can be," said Anh. "But surely this auction will attract billionaire-art lovers as the search and ownership of the rest of the three paintings will stimulate desire.
"If all three paintings are assembled together, this could be the longest silk painting by Thu."
In the certificate, Aguttes' expert Charlotte Reynier wrote that the work shown is highly appealing for its liveliness and the multitude of characters it portrays.
Many of Thu’s compositions feature a very small number of characters in a refined setting. With characteristic precision, he depicts a swarm of children in a variety of spontaneous attitudes – running around, picking flowers, playing marbles – with a wealth of different expressions.
Thu (1906 - 1980), known as Mai Thu, was born to a prominent northern family in Vietnam. In 1937, he went to France for the International Decorative Arts Exhibition with two friends he had met during his studies Le Pho and Vu Cao Dam.
Among the works by Vietnamese artists, Nguyen Duc Nung's silk painting Co Gai Ben Gio Hoa (Girl With A Flower Basket), has been reviewed by Vietnam Fine Arts Magazine and received attention from art lovers.
It is not an excellent work, but it is a rare work by artist Nung (1914-1983).
The painting is worth either as an investment or for collecting in terms of historical value, according to Anh. "It is likely that paintings will return to Vietnam because Vietnamese collectors are fond of paintings of this style which fits with the mellow, romantic soul and aesthetics," said Anh.
The auction began at 2.30pm (Paris time)./.VNA
The painting, titled ‘Doi Hoa’ (Life of Flowers) by renowned painter Le Pho, has been sold for US$35,000 at auction No. 26 at Chon’s Auction House in Hanoi.
Auction house Sotheby’s Hong Kong has pulled several Vietnamese paintings from an upcoming sale due to uncertainty over their authenticity.