French Auction House Aguttes Presents Important Works by Asian Artists on 6 Oct

The leading French Auction house Aguttes will present their 26th sale that is under the theme of “Painters of Asia, Major Works”. Featuring masterpieces by Vietnamese artists which exemplify the highest quality of modern art, the sale celebrates artists including Nguyễn Phan Chánh, Le Pho, Mai Trung Thu and Vu Cao Dam who arrived in France towards the end of the 1930s and rose to fame in Asia at the beginning of the last century. 

Link to catalogue:

Lot 22

Mai Trung Thu, 1906-1980, Le jeu

Ink and color on silk
Signed and dated lower left

Size: 23.5 x 101 cm (In the original frame made by the artist)

Aguttes' expert Charlotte Reynier-Aguttes has chosen over 30 exciting pieces for the sale. The works showcase how Vietnamese artists shape their oeuvre and new techniques they adopted during crucial moments in their careers. They not only were under the influence of Asian art education but at the same time were drowning in the romantic aroma of French art. 

The Vietnamese artist Le Pho in his work Jeune fille aux pivoines has grasped the essence of Western culture, which he skillfully manages to integrate into the traditions of the Far East. The painting is still in exceptional condition after being purchased by Romanet Gallery and kept for over 70 years. This work also underlines the artist’s discovery in the use of colours, as evidence in this vibrant and totally innovative palette.

Lot 11

Le Pho, 1907-2001, Jeune fille aux pivoines

Ink and color on silk, signed upper left
Size: 91 x 71 cm


  • Bought from Romanet Gallery, Paris in 1950s, Lot no. 37
  • Private collection, Paris

The young girl in the work emanates a gentleness, a grace which is not without recalling the delicacy of the female portraits of the mannerist painters in the XVIth century. The features of the young girl such as her complexion and her hair take up the Asian beauty canons. The shell, skillfully placed on the table, reinforces the femininity that emerges from this work. 

Lot 14

Le Pho, 1907-2000, Les deux soeurs au balcon

Ink and color on silk, signed upper left, titled on the back 


  • Romanet Gallery
  • Private collection (Purchased from the gallery in the 1940s) 
  • Acquired by descendants of the owner

Estimate: €250,000 - 300,000

If the delicacy of young Vietnamese women had to take shape through a brush, it would undoubtedly be done through Le Pho. Les deux soeurs au balcon exemplifies the artist’s extraordinary skills in painting under this theme.  The artist gives like few others, this particular softness to the composition with the use of colours. 

Lot 25


Le Pho, 1907-2000, Jeunes filles dans un jardin fleuri

Oil on canvas, signed lower right

Size: 100 x 73 cm

Estimate: €60,000 - 80,000

Mai Trung Thru’s works are also the highlights of the sale. The artist often depicted families, children and the femininity of women throughout his entire oeuvre. By observing his works from different periods, we can see improvements in brushwork as well as the use of colours. Le vent shows how skillful he was in controlling the transparency and vibrancy of the work. L’éventail, La lecture, Le bain and Le petit frère reveal his attention to detail, especially in the facial expressions of the protagonists.


Lot 9

Mai Trung Thru, 1906-1980, Le vent|1945

Ink and color on silk, signed and dated lower left, titled on the back


  • Romanet Gallery
  • Private collection (Purchased from the gallery in the 1940s) 

Acquired by descendants of the owner

Estimate: €120,000 - 150,000

Lot 10


Mai Trung Thru, 1906-1980, L'éventail|1941

Ink and color on silk, signed and dated upper right
Size: 39.5 x 27.3 cm 


  • Purchased from Lorenceau Gallery in 1941
  • Private collection, Vichy 
  • Then by descent, Monaco 

Estimate: €30,000 - 50,000


Lot 8


Vu Cao Dam, 1908-2000, Nu|1941

Ink and colors on silk, signed and dated lower left, titled on the back
Size: 58.5 x 44.5 cm


  • Algiers-Oran, Pasteur Art Gallery, Algeria
  • Vente Blâche, Versailles
  • Private Collection, Caen

Exhibitions: Algiers-Oran, Pasteur Art Gallery, Algeria- “Maï Thu, Le Pho, Vu Cao Dam, Indochinese Paintings”, exhibition no. 90, 1942

Estimate: €60,000 - 80,000


Lot 17


Vu Cao Dam, 1908-2000, Deux jeunes femmes

Terracotta, signed and dated on the base, numbered 5/10 and countersigned below

Size: 37 x 18 x 11 cm

Estimate: €18,000 - 22,000

Vu Cao Dam manages to capture the serenity and gentleness of these two women standing side by side, linked by a gesture of friendship. This work is a very fine example of his technical mastery and his ability to accurately convey grace and femininity. The virtuosity of the modelling and the finesse of execution is of rare quality. 


Lot 16


Nguyen Phan Chanh, 1892-1984, La toilette|1964

Ink and color on silk, signed and dated lower right
Size: 51 x 72.2cm


  • Private collection, France (acquired from the artist’s family in Hanoi around 1990)
  • Then by descent

Estimate: €80,000 - 120,000


6 Oct 2020 (Tue)|Paris time 2:30pm 

19-20 Sep 2020 (Sat, Sun)|Paris time 11am to 6pm
5 Oct 2020 (Mon)|Paris time 10am to 1pm, 2pm to 5:30pm
6 Oct 2020 (Tue)|Paris time 10am to 1pm


Aguttes Auctions
(164 bis avenue Charles-de-Gaulle - Neuilly-sur-Seine)


Expert and contact: 
Charlotte Reynier-Aguttes: +33 (0)1 41 92 06 49