* La famille
Oil on silk mounted on isorel, signed lower right
72.5 x 92 cm - 28 1/2 x 36 1/4 in.
Considered as one of the leading figures of modern Vietnamese art, Lê Phổ was born in 1907 in Hà Tây province into a respected mandarin family, his father being the last viceroy of Tonkin. Showing a predisposition for painting and drawing, he entered the first class of the Indochina School of Fine Arts in 1925. He was soon noticed by the director and founder of the school, Victor Tardieu, for whom he retained a strong attachment throughout his life. Lê Phổ assimilated to perfection the teachings of his teachers. The school promoted Vietnamese artistic traditions such as painting on silk or lacquer,
while sensitizing this new generation of artists to Western history and artistic techniques. Indeed, one can read with ease the influences of the Italian Primitives or the Impressionists in Lê Phổ‘s works. In 1931, he came to France to present his works on the occasion of the International Colonial Exhibition. He chose to stay in Paris for a year to attend classes at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, then undertook several trips to Europe. He returned to Vietnam in 1933 and taught at the Indochina School of Fine Arts in Hanoi. He decided to settle permanently in France in 1937 and quickly gained a certain notoriety.