299
299
Nguyen Nam Son
STILL LIFE
Estimate
100,000150,000
LOT SOLD. 875,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT
299
Nguyen Nam Son
STILL LIFE
Estimate
100,000150,000
LOT SOLD. 875,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art

|
Hong Kong

Nguyen Nam Son
1890–1973
STILL LIFE
Signed
Oil on canvas 
40.5 by 52 cm; 15 3/4  by 20 1/4  in. 
Executed in 1922
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Provenance

Formerly in the collection of the artist, thence by descent
Private Asian Collection

Catalogue Note

Born in 1890, Nguyen Nam Son (real name Nguyen Van Tho) was a Vietnamese painter and co-founder of Hanoi’s École des Beaux-Arts de l’Indochine (Indochina Fine Arts College). The present lot was executed in 1922, a year before Nam Son had written a manifesto on Vietnamese painting which became the basis for the subsequent development of traditional and modern fine art in Vietnam. Just three years later in October 1925, Nam Son would become the founder of the school alongside French artist Victor Tardieu (1870-1937)—a pivotal point in the not only the artist’s life, but also in the history of Vietnamese art as a whole. It can be said that as an artist, Nam Son’s greatest contribution was in the creation of the Indochina Fine Arts College that served as the foundation for modern art in Vietnam and created a sense of Asian spirit and pride among this generation of artists.

The piece is the first canvas work by Nam Son to ever appear on the market, and Sotheby’s is pleased to bring this fresh work of art to the international stage. An artist who drew on Chinese, French and Vietnamese influences within his work, Nam Son’s early education was in Chinese characters which undoubtedly contributed to his love for drawing. Still Life is a technically skilled study that features a traditional Vietnamese lacquer wedding box executed in a rich, red hue filled with compartmentalized sweets. The table is replete with metal and wooden tableware, and atop a tray lays four traditional Vietnamese teacups. In Vietnamese culture, the ritual of serving and drinking tea is an old age custom that spans across all social classes. As the central focus of the piece, the depiction of a wedding box juxtaposed so closely to the tea set is suggestive of their position as sacred objects that bear both ceremonial and ritualistic connotations.

Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art

|
Hong Kong