A rare enchanted forest by Le Van De

On 04 October 2019, by Claire Papon

On 14 June this year (Boisgirard-Antonini) a painting by Le Van De was knocked down for €122,360, auguring well for the screen here…

Le Van De (1906-1966), Forêt tropicale du Vietnam (Vietnamese Tropical Forest), 1937, three-panel screen, mixed media, oil, gold and silver highlights, wood collages on panel, 252.5 x 64.5 cm.
Estimate: €150,000/300,000

However, the two works have little in common. One is a peaceful scene of children playing, in the spirit of his compatriots Vu Cao Dam, Mai Thu and Le Pho; the other is a large Art Deco-inspired composition in oils highlighted with gold and silver. Here Le Van De explores a highly original format with a new technique and a subject very different from his usual repertory: that of a luxuriant, exotic plant world, where highly realistic plants mingle with stylised flowers and purely decorative motifs. This imaginary landscape in shades of grey contrasting with deep blacks illustrates the artist's interest in oil painting (a technique he had discovered at the Fine Arts School of Hanoi) and his love of Vietnamese culture. Born in 1906 in the province of Ben Tre, he was one of the first students, in 1925, at the Fine Arts School of Indochina founded by Victor Tardieu (1870-1937). Six years later, he went to Paris for the Colonial Exhibition, where he, Le Pho, To Ngoc Van and Thang Tran Penh decorated the lacquer room in the reconstructed Angkor Wat pavilion. As a loyal Catholic, he travelled to Rome in 1936, where he took part in an exhibition at the Vatican and was the first Vietnamese artist to be received by the Pope. The screen here dates from this Italian period. When he returned to his native land three years later, he became the director of the Fine Arts School of Saigon. In 1948, he was commissioned to create Vietnam's national flag. His works are few and far between on the market, especially his mother and child scenes. So, a word to the wise...

peintres d'Asie
Wednesday 09 October 2019 - 14:30 - Live
Salle 5 - Drouot-Richelieu - 9, rue Drouot - 75009
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