The Hanoi College of Fine Arts (1925-1945), Landscape in Northern Vietnam | 河內美術學院 (1925-1945), 越北風景
The Hanoi College of Fine Arts (1925-1945)
Landscape in Northern Vietnam
lacquer on wood panel
Executed circa 1930-1940
114 x 70 cm, 44 7/8 by 26 3/8 in.
École des Beaux-arts de Hanoi (1925-1945)
Paysage au Nord du Vietnam
laque sur panneau en bois
Peint vers 1930-1940
There is some light wear and scratches to the surface and to the gilding. There is is evidence of wear along the edges of the work due to frame abrasions, with some losses of wood. Examination under ultraviolet light reveals no sign of restoration.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.
Lacquer work is one of the oldest forms of craftsmanship in Asia, and it is a medium that is difficult to master. In the 1930s, Joseph Inguimberty, who was professor at the École des beaux-arts d’Indochine, opened a lacquer workshop. He encouraged his students to combine the vision of Western modern painting with Asian techniques. Lacquer work thus took on a new dimension at a time when Vietnamese art was at its golden age (1930-1945).
Landscape in Northern Vietnam is not signed, which was often the case of works that were exhibited each year at the École des beaux-arts d’Indochine. It is either a collective work by student-artists or a composition based on the works of their mentors. This work reflects the technique and graphic design that are so distinctive of this movement of the 1930s to 1940s. Likewise, the colour range and use of chiaroscuro to juxtapose dark zones with bright gold can be compared to the shimmering style of works by Nguyễn Văn Tỵ, Hoàng Tích Chù, or Nguyễn Tiến Chung. These three artists, who were students at the École des Beaux-Arts d’Indochine, were the principal initiators of a modern change of direction in traditional Vietnamese lacquer painting.
Landscape in Northern Vietnam portrays a peaceful landscape in which three farmers recline in their fields near the rice fields. The lush vegetation nearly conceals a house at the foot of the mountain in the background, while the viewer’s eye is drawn to the profusion of golden leaves in the foreground. In juxtaposition with the dark, massive mountain, the delicate golden leaves, the subtle rendering of the rice fields and foliage, and the harmonious incorporation of human figures all bring a feeling of balance to the composition. The scene remains suspended in an undisturbed instant of serenity and peace that one would be reluctant to upset, transporting us to the poetic, idealized Asian unity between man and nature. Majestic and subtle, this work is a true testimonial to a perfect mastery of the lacquer technique.