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Los Nr. 252 - Auction 115

30.000,00/40.000,00 €
15.000,00 EUR
160.000,00 EUR

Vietnam, mid-20th century

The painting consisting of four separate wood panels with a scene with different moments of a battle. The events take place in an open bush and involve numerous actors, some of them on the back of elephants, others on horses; scattered banners are waved, and numerous fallen bodies can also be seen. In the upper right and in the lower left corner two strongholds, on the walls of which inscriptions in Chinese characters.
The painting - fine in its execution and minute in the rendering of details - is made with lacquers of different colors, including gold, and the application of eggshell with the effect of craquelure.

"TK" within a square cartouche to the bottom left; signed "Thê khang - tuân thanh" in the lower section; signed “thê” in the lower right corner near a stylized deer.

152 x 304 cm

Provenance: Italian private collection.

This work is a refined and important example of an artistic technique that was born and developed in Vietnam in the twentieth century. Its origins can be traced back to the 1920s and 1930s, when the two French artists Victor Tardieu (1870-1937) and Joseph Inguimberty (1896-1971) - directors of the Ecole Superieure des Beaux-Arts d'Indochine - promoted with conviction a renewal of the traditional Vietnamese arts. A strong impulse was also given by Alix Ayme (1894-1989), who encouraged his students to combine the techniques of European painting with the use of lacquer (used for millennia in those territories), in works that reflected the more genuine culture of that country.
Among the pioneers of this particular art form we can remember Tran Van Can (1910-1994), Pham Hau (1903-1995), Nguyen Gia Tri (1909-1993) and Nguyen Khang (1912-1989), and this magnificent painting can perhaps be placed in the context of the latter, probably the result of the collaboration of two artists, as suggested by the double signature.
This work is also distinguished by a rather unusual subject in the repertoire of Vietnamese artists specialized in this technique. It is almost certainly the re-enactment of a historical episode.


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