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14

Le Pho

Autoportrait dans la forêt

Le Pho

Le Pho

Autoportrait dans la forêt

Autoportrait dans la forêt

Le Pho

1907 - 2001

Autoportrait dans la forêt


signed LE PHÔ, dated 1929 (lower right)

oil on canvas

Executed in 1929

37 x 75,7 cm, 14½ x 29¾ in.

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Le Pho

1907 - 2001

Autoportrait dans la forêt


signée LE PHÔ, datée 1929 (en bas à droite)

huile sur toile

Peinte en 1929

37 x 75,7 cm, 14½ x 29¾ in.

The canvas is lined. Examination under UV light reveals scattered dots of retouching, notably a vertical line of inpainting running vertically through the middle of the composition in the trees (approx: 26,5 x 2 cm.) with a few other spots on the left of this line. There are a few additional touches of retouching at the lower left edge (15.5 x 4 cm.) and at the upper left corner (5 x 4 cm.). There are a few very fine lines of minor craquelure in areas throughout the composition.


"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

Please note the following amendments to the printed catalogue Veuillez noter que ce lot a été exposé à/ Please note that this lot was exhibited at: Hanoi, Exposition, School of Fine Arts Hanoi, Vietnam, November 1929

Hanoi, Exposition, School of Fine Arts Hanoi, Vietnam, November 1929

Le Pho was born into a powerful mandarin family, penultimate son of Kham Sai Le Hoan. After a difficult childhood, he joined in 1925 the Hanoi School of Fine Arts, recently created by the painter Victor Tardieu. When he finished his studies, his master invited him to go to France for the 1931 Paris Colonial Exhibition. There, he had to supervise the artistic aspect of the Angkor pavilion.


On that occasion, while visiting Italy, he discovered primitive painting and the frescoes of the Tuscan churches that impressed him greatly. Back in Hanoi, he was appointed art teacher at the Lycée Albert Sarraut, allowing him to pursue his personal work. Success came fast. He was soon able to live in a villa on the shores of Lake Hanoi and follow a bohemian life in the midst of the bubbling Vietnamese intelligentsia. But, attracted by the artistic aura of the Paris of those years, in 1937 he decided to return to France and remained there until the end of his life in 2001. He is not the only young Vietnamese painter to follow this path: two of his friends, Vu Cao Dam and Maï Thu, were also in the world capital of the arts. When the war was declared in 1939, he joined the French army but was demobilized in 1940. He then settled for a few years in Nice, where he rented a flat on the Promenade des Anglais.


My father was an inveterate art hunter and used to take my brother Pierre and me to visit the Puces de Saint-Ouen and the antique dealers when we were very young.


Alain Le Kim

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Le Pho est né dans une puissante famille mandarinale, avant-dernier fils du Kham Sai Lê Hoan. Après une enfance dure, il suit une scolarité qui le mène en 1925 à l'Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Hanoi, récemment fondée par le peintre Victor Tardieu. Ses études terminées, il est invité par son maître à se rendre en France à l'occasion de l'Exposition Coloniale de 1931 où il doit superviser l'aspect artistique du pavillon Angkor.


À cette occasion, il visite l'Italie et découvre la peinture primitive et les fresques des églises Toscane qui l'émerveillent. De retour à Hanoi, il est nommé professeur d’art au lycée Albert Sarraut, ce qui lui permit de continuer son travail personnel. Le succès est rapide. Il peut alors s'installer dans une villa au bord du lac d'Hanoi et mener une vie de bohème au sein de la bouillonnante intelligentsia vietnamienne. Mais, attiré par l'aura du Paris artistique de ces années, il décide en 1937 de repartir pour la France, qu'il ne quittera plus jusqu'à fin de sa vie en 2001. Il n'est pas le seul jeune peintre vietnamien à suivre cette voie : deux de ses amis, Vu Cao Dam et Maï Thu, se retrouvent eux aussi dans la capitale mondiale des arts. Lors de la déclaration de guerre de 1939, il s'engage dans l'armée Française mais il est démobilisé dès 1940. Il s'installe alors pour quelques années à Nice, où il loue un appartement sur la Promenade des Anglais.


Mon père était un chineur invétéré et il nous emmenait très jeunes, mon frère Pierre et moi, visiter les Puces de Saint-Ouen et les antiquaires.


Alain Le Kim