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  • Provenance

    Galerie Apesteguy, Deauville
    Private Collection, France (acquired from the above in the 1960s)
    Thence by descent to the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Mai Thu was among the first cohort to graduate from the École des Beaux Arts d’Indochine. As a result of his Western art education and having made France his home from 1937, Mai Thu melds Western aesthetics into his vignettes of Vietnam’s upper class; through the depiction of figures reminiscent of classical Western portraiture, yet tinged with a Vietnamese content. The strong Vietnamese pictorial identity is also the result of remaining faithful to one medium - gouache and ink on silk - as demonstrated in this portrait.

    The present work engages the viewer with the serenity and sensual delight of a woman dressed in a traditional áo dài. The pious figure set against the neutral background accentuates the burst of intense colour that emanates from rose. The precision of black ink defines her facial features from the soft tone of the delicate moment, while the translucent scarf framing her face permeates an ethereal glow, insinuating her other-worldliness as a paragon of Confucian morality.

162

La Rose Rouge (J. femme à l’écharpe) [The Red Rose (Young Lady with Scarf)]

1959
signed with one seal of the artist and dated 'MAI THU 1959' lower right
colour on silk laid down on cardboard
46 x 35.5 cm. (18 1/8 x 13 7/8 in.)
Executed in 1959.

Estimate
HK$220,000 - 320,000 
€25,000-36,400
$28,200-41,000

Sold for HK$875,000

Contact Specialist
Isaure de Viel Castel
Head of Department, 20th Century & Contemporary Art

Charlotte Raybaud
Head of Day Sale, 20th Century & Contemporary Art

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale

Hong Kong Auction 26 May 2019